Workers’ compensation can provide you with plenty of useful benefits after you have been injured at work. But one benefit it probably will not give you is any sort of financial award for your pain and suffering. Even if you have been severely injured in a work accident, you aren’t entitled to pain and suffering damages through workers’ compensation. Why?
As a no-fault insurance system, workers’ compensation gives you benefits without considering why your work accident happened. This system almost guarantees that you are eligible to receive the benefits owed to you, except for when an insurance company or employee tries to interfere.
Yet nothing in the insurance world is ever “free,” so there is a “cost” to the relative ease of getting benefits: you can’t get non-economic damage. Insurance companies aren’t obligated to pay for your pain and suffering, just for your medical costs, a portion of your missing wages, and a few other things.
Suing a Third Party
Being hurt at work doesn’t mean you will automatically not be able to get any pain and suffering damage. It depends on why you got hurt at work. If a third party caused your accident, and not someone related to your employer, then you might be able to sue that party for any damages you don’t get from workers’ compensation, e.g., pain and suffering damage.
For example, a food delivery driver is hit by a drunk driver while bringing food to a customer’s home. The food courier can use workers’ compensation for its full range of benefits and file a claim against the other driver. As noted, only damages that haven’t been claimed through workers’ compensation can be obtained in a second, separate civil claim, though. There’s no “double-dipping” allowed.
For questions about workers’ comp benefits and case management in Florida, come to Van Dingenen Law. Contact us now to arrange a consultation with our winning team.