What About My Pain and Suffering?

The highly respected Black’s Law Dictionary defines “pain and suffering” as “the inability to lead a normal life due to mental and physical suffering.” When looking at any injury through that lens, it would seem to make sense that one might be due recompense for pain and suffering following an on-the-job accident. After all, a workplace injury could involve a lot of physical and mental anguish on the part of the victim. Besides the physical pain of the injury itself and the recovery to follow, someone who’s been involved in a potentially catastrophic workplace injury might face depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, inability to sleep, loss of appetite or any number of conditions. Unfortunately, Worker’s Compensation cases do not allow for pain and suffering compensation. Pain and suffering is typically reserved for Personal Injury law suits and settlements.

What Does the “Compensation” in Worker’s Compensation Cover?

In general, a Worker’s Compensation claim – if approved – covers lost wages of more than 7 days missed work, medical expenses when using one of your employer’s approved medical providers, and ongoing care – if needed.

Can My Worker’s Compensation Claim be Converted to a Personal Injury Case?

You cannot sue your employer in state court. Workers’ Compensation is known as an “exclusive remedy” under Georgia law. This means you must proceed before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation when you are hurt at work. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule and each case is different, so it’s definitely worth your while to discuss your case with an attorney who’s experienced in both Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury cases to learn your options. 

Can I bring a Personal Injury Case at the SAME TIME as my Worker’s Compensation Claim?

While you may not be able to sue your employer for pain and suffering once you’ve filed for Worker’s Compensation, you may be able to sue someone else for the same injury. That lawsuit may involve the manufacturer of a defective product that injured you on the job, the manufacturer of a toxic substance that caused an illness or a third party that was responsible for your injury. Your employer may not have been negligent or intentional at the time your accident occurred, but the machine you were on malfunctioned and that might be the fault of the manufacturer. There may have been asbestos in the walls of the building where you worked and your employer may have been unaware, but the manufacturer of that toxic substance that led to your mesothelioma diagnosis may be prime for a lawsuit for a “toxic tort.” As an outside sales representative who spends a lot of time in the car, if you’re in an automobile accident while on-the-job and the crash was the fault of another, you can bring a Personal Injury lawsuit against them.

As with any Worker’s Compensation or Personal Injury case, time is of the essence. The sooner you discuss the facts surrounding your workplace injury to learn the best course of action, the better. Call the experienced Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury attorneys of Edmonson Law Firm at 678-271-9111, email us at info@elf-legal.com, fill out our secure online contact form or drop by our offices – located at 924 Gainesville Hwy Suite 200 in Buford. To learn more about our capabilities as Georgia’s Hometown Law Firm, visit our website at www.elf-legal.com.

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