Unfortunately, no. Many injured workers suffer from chronic pain, discomfort, anger, and decreased enjoyment of life, all of which may be considered “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering can vary greatly depending on the victim and the types of injuries sustained, and can only be collected by filing a lawsuit.
The workers’ compensation program was created to make it easier for employees to collect wages and medical costs after a work injury. The contract guarantees that all covered workers will be able to recoup their injury costs and be given a portion of their income to live on as they recover; in exchange, they agree not to file suit against their employer for additional costs of the accident.
There are many ways you could collect an additional amount for the effects of your accident, including:
- Indirect injuries. Workers’ comp allows employees to collect for the injuries sustained in an accident, but also for the medical costs of any secondary injuries due to the first. For example, if you broke your leg on the job but developed an infection in the hospital after surgery, you can recover the full amount of your hospital bills through workers’ comp. In many cases, workers who develop depression, anxiety, or other mental or emotional disorders after an injury can collect workers’ comp, since they would not have developed these conditions if the accident had not occurred.
- Disability. If your injury has caused a disability that will not improve, you can collect permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits from your employer. Partial disability benefits are for people who can work, but will never perform at their full capacity. Both work-related injuries and occupational diseases qualify for PPD.
- Third-party claims. While you cannot collect for pain and suffering through workers’ comp, you may be able to file a claim against a third party who caused your injury. Loading companies, subcontractors, the driver of another vehicle, and any other negligent party can be held accountable for the long-term effects of your injury.
We Can Advise You on the Next Steps in Your Claim
Our work injury attorneys can examine the details of your case and explain your options at no cost to you. Call us today or learn more in our free informational guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.