Can I sue workers’ compensation for pain and suffering?

Can you sue workers compensation for pain and suffering? Workers' compensation won't pay for pain and suffering, but will pay for medical bills and disability from work. In some cases, lump sum payments may be made via workers' comp for major injuries like the loss of a limb or eye.

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Legal Help After a Work Accident in PA or NJ – Get Compensated for Pain & Suffering

If you’d like to speak to our work injury legal team, call (866) 641-0806 for a free consultation. Our lawyers have recovered $200 million for our clients and have recovered over $150 million in work injury cases alone. Access our PA & NJ work injury law library for more info.

Workers’ Compensation – Can You Get Compensated for Your Pain & Suffering?

This is one of the most common questions an injured worker has after starting a workers’ comp claim. It often arises when an injured worker learns that their workers’ comp benefits only cover medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. This is how the workers’ comp systems work in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey—workers’ comp benefits only cover the bare minimum.

Most workers who are seriously injured while on the job will make workers’ comp claims. Their medical treatment is covered, and so is wage loss. If the injuries result in the inability return to work, workers’ comp kicks in and provides indemnity (wage loss) benefits. But that’s only up to a statutory maximum, usually around 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage. Clearly, this isn’t compensation for pain and suffering.

The reality is that the workers’ comp systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are designed to get workers back to work. That’s why the benefits only cover medical treatment and a portion of the lost wages. Separate compensation for pain and suffering is NOT included in a comp claim. If it were, more workers would make workers’ comp claims and those who made workers’ comp claims would stay out on comp for as long as possible.

There are specific benefits available via workers’ comp, but they are for major injuries like loss of a body part, including loss of an eye or loss of hearing. They are lump sums specially allowed by statute. For example in Pennsylvania, the loss of a leg triggers a payment of about 2/3 of the average weekly wages for 410 weeks plus 25 weeks for healing (total of 435 weeks). These loss benefits are not considered compensation for pain and suffering.

Who is Liable for Pain & Suffering After a Work Injury?

If workers’ compensation does not provide compensation for pain and suffering, is there any other way to receive such compensation? The answer depends on how the accident happened. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a party (other than the employer) may be legally responsible for having caused the accident. For example, a subcontractor may be liable for negligent conduct that resulted in a construction site accident.

Related: Work Accident Injury Lawsuits in Pennsylvania & New Jersey – How Long Do They Take?

A work injury lawsuit would have to be filed in order to prove liability and the injured worker’s injuries and damages, which include pain and suffering.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.