You’re probably aware that workers’ compensation covers expenses like medical bills and lost wages after a work-related accident. You may also be familiar with the term “pain and suffering” and wonder if you can be compensated for these factors. In today’s blog, we explain how Minnesota handles pain and suffering payments as they pertain to a workers’ compensation claim.
Pain And Suffering And Workers’ Compensation
Although a workers’ compensation injury claim and a person injury claim may seem similar, they are quite different. In a personal injury situation, you are absolutely allowed to collect for pain and suffering if you are injured as a result of someone else’s action or inaction. However, workers’ compensation operates as a no fault system, and among other things, it means you are not allowed to collect damages for pain and suffering in a work injury lawsuit.
That may seem a little unfair, especially if your work injury involves pain and suffering, but the no fault system was designed to protect both the employer and the employee. If you are the direct cause of your injuries, you’re probably not going to have much luck filing a personal injury lawsuit. But if you were the direct reason you suffered an on-the-job injury, you will easily be able to collect damages in a workers’ compensation claim so long as you didn’t intentionally injure yourself. Nobody needs to be found negligent or at fault for the incident that resulted in your workers’ compensation claim in order for it to be valid, but it also means you can’t collect for pain and suffering.
Now, there are some exceptions, most notably if you were injured by a third party during the course of your employment. For example, if you were driving from one job site to another and you got in a car accident because another driver was texting behind the wheel, you may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim with your employer and a personal injury claim that accounts for pain and suffering with the other driver. If a third party contributed to your injuries while you’re at work (like an outside contracted company, not a coworker), then you may be able to file multiple suits and pursue damages for pain and suffering through a personal injury claim.
That’s not to say that you’ll be left out in the cold if you’re only able to file a workers’ compensation claim, because a good lawyer will be able to get you plenty. You’ll be able to collect compensation for partial or total disability to a body part, lost wages, medical bills, retraining benefits and other expenses related to your injury. And to ensure you maximize these amounts, you’ll want to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm have been doing just that for decades, and we can do the same for you in the wake of a work injury. While we may not be able to help you collect damages for pain and suffering, we’ll do everything in our power to get you every penny you deserve. For more information, or to set up an initial consultation, give us a call today at (952) 230-2701.