Pain and Suffering In Worker’s Comp? What Can I Claim In My Injury Case?

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June 17  

Pain And Suffering In Workers Comp

Today's topic answers the question "Can I get pain and suffering in my workers comp case or in my work injury case?" I got a call from a lady who got hurt at work and she was still at work because she had a note from the doctor saying modified duty and that her employer was accommodating her, so she had to go to work.

She kept talking about wanting to be compensated for her pain and suffering. I had to explain to her. Third party case in a car crash case, a dog bite case, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, any kind of injury case other than workers comp cases, work injury cases. In a case like that, you're allowed to claim pain and suffering. It's actually on a list of things that you're allowed to ask for along with things like medical bills and disfigurement or scarring and things of that nature. 

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Not Allowed In Workers Comp

But in workers comp, you are not allowed to be compensated for pain and suffering. The way it works in comp is, everything is based on how much money you make per week, your average weekly wage. And then how seriously the judge or the insurance company if we're settling it, takes the injury and your type of injury factoring in how bad you are at the end of treatment, when you've reached what's called maximum medical improvement, and how much medical care there was, and the nature of the medical care.

In other words, therapy is less serious than surgery. They take all that into consideration and calculate the percentage loss of a body part. What they do is, there's a chart where you cross index the per the body part and the percentage and it gives you a number of weeks, that figure is multiplied by your average weekly wage or actually it's your PPD rate your or permanent partial disability rate. That's a lump sum of money you get at the end of the case.

Evaluation Of Injury

Your attorney is going to ask for an evaluation of the injury. Very high up on that scale and the insurance company is going to want to stay really low and then usually you meet somewhere in the middle. Occasionally you'll get an insurance company that pays fair money right out of the gate. And if they do fantastic.

My point is, there's a range of all these injuries. It's a good idea to have somebody to help make sure the details of your case are so that it's on the higher end of the scale. Because it can make a big difference in a settlement. In theory, the same injury could settle for ten thousand dollars or eighty thousand dollars just based on the details of treatment and permanency. Same person, same job.

Based On Average Weekly Pay

The other thing to keep in mind is, it's all based on what you make in an average week. The guy who makes 10 bucks an hour is going to get about half for the same injury as a guy who makes 20 bucks an hour.

But can you specifically recover for pain and suffering in workers comp? The answer is no. But the good news is, if you have a third party case, of course you can request. I hope that clears that up.

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About the author - Scott D. DeSalvo

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