Up until the middle of the 20th century, employees who got hurt on the job were able to sue their employer. They would file a civil lawsuit for pain and suffering, demanding whatever damages they suffered in their workplace accident. Depending on the facts of the case, these workers would have to prove negligence on the part of their employer. This was very difficult to do. Most companies protect themselves against these types of claims, even if it means they do the bare minimum.
Here, we’ll discuss what benefits you can expect to receive under workers compensation. We’ll also explain why you aren’t allowed to demand damages for pain and suffering as part of your workers comp claim. If you still have questions or concerns after reading this article, don’t worry. All you have to do is call our office and we’ll schedule your free, initial consultation.
Some Workplace Accidents Result in Very Serious Injuries
When we think about workers compensation, we usually associate it with minor injuries. For example, if a worker falls at work and hurts their back, they will probably be back to work in a matter of months. The same is true for people who break an arm or leg.
There are cases, however, in which employees suffer very serious injuries. You could get hit in the head with a heavy piece of equipment. Or you may work construction and fall three stories from a piece of scaffolding.
In cases like this, there’s a good chance you’ll need surgery and ongoing physical therapy. It seems like you should be able to collect pain and suffering damages. However, that is not the case.
Workers Compensation Is a Lot Different From Personal Injury
A workers compensation claim is completely different from a personal injury lawsuit. One is an insurance claim that you file with your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier. The other is legal action that you file with the civil court in your county.
Workers compensation offers you free medical care and weekly replacement wages. It does not pay you any additional monies for pain and suffering. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, does pay out for pain and suffering as well as other types of damages.
Finally, with a workers compensation claim, your claim is either approved or denied. There is no in-between. There are cases that settle down the road. These cases typically involve a worker who suffered permanent injuries. With a personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, your injury attorney in Tampa, Florida will negotiate a lump sum settlement with the defendant.
Your Florida Workers Compensation Lawyer Will Fight to Get You Benefits
While your Florida workers compensation lawyer can’t get you damages for pain and suffering, they will help you. They’ll fight to make sure your workers comp claim is approved. If the insurance company denies your claim, they’ll help you file an appeal. This appeal will be filed with the Florida Division of Workers Compensation, not the civil courts.
The goal is to get you coverage for your medical bills as well as weekly replacement wages. These are the only two types of benefits you’ll receive. There will be no pain and suffering. Nor can you demand property damages. If your employer denies your claim, your injury attorney in Tampa, Florida will do their best to get your claim approved.
Unfortunately, You Cannot Demand Pain and Suffering
One of the things our clients don’t understand is why they can’t demand damages for pain and suffering after a workplace accident. It seems unfair. If you had been hurt in almost any other way, you would’ve been entitled to all types of damages. For example, you could demand compensation for lost future income. You can also demand pain and suffering. Sadly, you aren’t entitled to either of these things under workers comp.
There are limited situations in which you can collect pain and suffering damages from your employer. If they were negligent, or reckless, your injury attorney in Tampa, Florida may be able to file suit. Rather than file a claim under workers comp, they would file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Because this happens so rarely, we would not want to get anyone’s hopes up. More than 90% of the time, workplace injuries are relegated to workers compensation. It is only in special circumstances that you can file suit against your employer for a workplace accident.
It’s a Good Idea to Reach Out to a Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you got hurt at work and are in a lot of pain, you need help. The last thing you’ll want to do is fight with the insurance company. The good news is that we can do that for you. Our Tampa personal injury lawyers have decades of combined experience negotiating with insurance companies. Once the insurance adjuster learns you’ve hired a Florida workers compensation lawyer, they’ll start taking your claim more seriously.
We suggest that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation today. There’s no reason to wait. In fact, the longer you wait, the harder it will be for your lawyer to prepare your case.
If your employer and their insurance company are giving you a hard time about your claim, you shouldn’t sit back, and hope things get better. It’s not fair for you to sit home worrying about who will pay for your medical care. If your injuries happened while on the job, your employer needs to be held accountable.
Since the initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose. Call today and we’ll find a date and time that works best for you.