Workers Compensation Attorneys: Can I Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering at Work?
Injuries that are suffered on the job can be not only physical painful, but also emotionally traumatizing. A workplace injury can leave a worker unable to work for extended periods of time. He or she may need extensive medical treatment, care and attention. Many workers who are injured on the job may also require lengthy rehabilitation for a range of injuries from strains, sprains, tendon and joint injuries and broken bones. These types of injuries take a physical and emotional toll on injured workers.
The Workers’ Comp System
So, the question many workers may have after a traumatic workplace accident is whether they can get compensation for pain and suffering. The straight answer to that is: Probably not. California employers do their very best to avoid paying you damages for pain and suffering by taking your claim through the workers’ compensation system. When you file a workers’ compensation claim and go through that system, you essentially agree not to sue your employer.
If you have been injured on the job or have suffered an illness as a result of your work, it is important that you get medical attention right way. Be sure to find out if you need to go to a physical who is part of your employer’s medical provider network. You then need to fill out a Division of Workers’ Compensation Form 1 and file an Application of Adjudication of Claim within one year of your injury to file your workers’ comp claim.
Depending on the type of injury you have suffered, the circumstances of the injury and your ability to return to work, your workers compensation benefits may include medical expenses including rehabilitation and physical therapy costs, and a portion of your lost wages.
Claim for Pain and Suffering
However, there are circumstances under which a worker may be able to pursue a claim outside of workers’ compensation, but relating to their workplace accident, which could help them seek and obtain compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering they have endured. As part of this claim, workers may be able to seek other damages such as lost future income, reduced earning potential and emotional distress.
Some situations where such compensation may be sought include:
- Workplace accidents where an employer, supervisor or fellow employee acted recklessly or intentionally, causing your accident and injury.
- When physical assault on the part of a fellow worker, supervisor, employer or customer injures you on the job.
- A third party claim where you can file an additional claim against a party other than your employer on the basis of negligence. For example, if you have been injured in a construction accident due to the negligence of a third party, you may be able to file a claim against a responsible party such as a general contractor, sub-contractor, building owner or a company that manufactured a defective product you were using at the time.
- The driver of a vehicle that struck and injured you when you were on the job. This could be a third party claim as well where you can seek compensation for pain and suffering.
Workplace injury cases are often complex and multi-layered. This area of law can be challenging to interpret and understand. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney on your side, who will fight for your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses.