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Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

Published in Workers Compensation on November 28, 2018.


An injury can happen just about anywhere, even at work. It is for that very reason that there are laws in Macon, Georgia and elsewhere requiring that businesses that have five or more regular full-time employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. It serves as a two-fold benefit in protecting the employer from being sued and providing employees with compensation for their medical bills and lost wages if they are unable to work or must work in a reduced capacity. However, many people have the question of whether they can claim workers’ compensation for pain and suffering.

Workers’ Compensation Rules and Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering generally refers to aches, discomfort and psychological injuries that accompany physical pain from a personal injury. It is usually associated with a feeling of depression or even simple embarrassment. According to the rules of workers’ compensation, you cannot recover for pain and suffering in your claim. Workers’ compensation is run on a no-fault basis, which means that when you opt to file a claim after sustaining an on-the-job injury, you are forgoing your right to sue your employer with a personal injury claim.

What if Your Pain and Suffering is Caused by a Third Party?

There is another option for recovering compensation for pain and suffering when you have been injured at work. If your injury was caused by a third party and not your employer, you may be able to sue that individual for personal injury. A third party can be a coworker, independent contractor or someone else. This would have to be done through a separate personal injury claim that includes pain and suffering while you can still file a workers’ compensation claim for the injury itself.

When Could Pain and Suffering be Recovered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Surprisingly, there have been some cases of workers’ compensation claims that included recovery for pain and suffering. This is something that may be possible if the claim is not filed under state laws, which tend to be limiting. If a claim is filed under the Federal Employee Liability Act, it may include compensation for pain and suffering.

On the same token, if you have developed an emotional or mental disorder as a direct result of your work-related physical injury, you can receive compensation for “pain and suffering.” For example, if you have an injury that is so severe that it keeps you from ever being able to work again or perform the professional duties you truly love and you have developed clinical depression, you would be able to claim compensation for it.

Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The best thing you can do if you have any concerns or questions regarding a workers’ compensation claim, especially when you have a situation like this is to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. If your employer doesn’t answer all of your questions or doesn’t want to accept your claim at all, it’s even more essential to seek legal assistance.

If you are in the Macon area and need a lawyer to help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact David Ricks at Nelson & Smith. David Ricks has the knowledge and experience you need to get you the benefits you deserve