Workers’ Comp and Pain and Suffering

All employees in the US are covered by a system called workers’ comp. Under this system, any injuries that result from work-related activities are fully compensated. However, many people do not fully understand how workers’ comp functions and what you can be compensated for. After reading this guide, you will understand how this system works.

Pain and Suffering

Workers’ comp only aims to compensate injured workers for financial losses. This means that the system does not provide any compensation for pain and suffering, or any other form of non-financial losses. The term “pain and suffering” is commonly used in personal injury lawsuits. In these cases, the person who caused the injury really is responsible for compensating the victim for any pain and suffering experienced.

These types of non-financial losses are called general compensatory damages. They refer to any type of loss that does not have a specific dollar value associated with them. If you can state the exact monetary value of a loss, then it falls into the category of special compensatory damages instead. Workers’ comp only provides special compensatory damages, and not general compensatory damages.

However, workers’ comp has very little or no limitations on what kinds of financial losses can be compensated. This most commonly covers:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning ability
  • Purchase of a cane or other injury-related items
  • Medicine costs

Profiting From Intentional Injuries

The media often depicts some people intentionally injuring themselves in order to profit through a workers’ comp claim. In reality, this is impossible to do. First of all, the workers’ comp system carefully evaluates each case and if it is determined that the injury was caused intentionally, no benefits are available for the injured party.

On top of that, however, it is impossible to profit from any workers’ comp case, whether it was caused intentionally or not. Workers’ comp only compensated injured workers for the exact amount that they lost as a result of the injury. Because pain and suffering is not considered in the claim, you will never receive more than you spent in medical bills and other expenses. It is always the goal of workers’ comp to return a worker to the financial state he or she was in prior to the injury as accurately as possible.

If you have any questions about the laws surrounding workers’ comp, or if you fear your workers’ comp rights have been violated, you should immediately speak with an NY workers compensation lawyer who specializes in workers’ comp cases.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and pain and suffering.