Why Are Pain And Suffering Damages And Punitive Damages Usually Not Awarded In Workers’ Compensation Cases?
After suffering a work-related injury in Florida, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. If you’re injured permanently, you can also recover permanent disability benefits. And, when you file a workers’ compensation claim, you do not need to prove your employee’s fault for you to recover compensation. In fact, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits even if you got injured because of your own fault. This is one of the benefits of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Another advantage of filing a workers’ compensation claim is that you can start receiving benefits immediately if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Of course, there are also some drawbacks that come with filing a workers’ compensation claim. For example, usually, employees cannot recover pain and suffering and punitive damages in a workers’ compensation claim. Punitive damages and pain and suffering damages can be awarded in a regular personal injury case, but these damages are frequently not awarded in workers’ compensation cases.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Damages related to pain and suffering include compensation for the physical and/or emotional pain and suffering an accident victim goes through after their accident. Because there is no specific standard by which pain and suffering damages are calculated, in most states, courts use their background, good sense, and experience to determine what would be a fair and reasonable figure to compensate for the victim’s pain and suffering.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are awarded as a form of punishment against the defendant. They are also awarded to prevent other people from acting in the same manner as the defendant in the future.
In Florida, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where it is determined that the defendant’s behavior constitutes gross negligence and intentional misconduct.
Why Aren’t Pain and Suffering Damages and Punitive Damages Awarded in Workers’ Compensation Cases … but can be awarded in third party claims (i.e. car accident)?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim comes with a tradeoff. While employees have an easier time recovering benefits from their employers (because they do not need to prove negligence), their compensation is usually limited to payments for lost wages and medical bills.
Can You Recover Pain and Suffering Damages and Punitive Damages After a Workplace Injury?
In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are limited to payment for medical expenses and lost wages. However, if you have developed a mental or emotional disorder because of your job-related injury, you may be able to receive extra compensation. For instance, dealing with chronic pain after suffering an injury while on the job can lead to depression. If you are depressed, the depression may be considered a “compensable consequence” of the original job-related injury.
When it comes to claiming punitive damages after suffering a work-related injury, you may be able to do so if your employer intentionally harmed you. For example, if your employer punched you, you could be able to file for punitive damages.
In conclusion, you should know that if claiming pain and suffering damages and/or punitive damages from your employer is impossible, filing a claim against a third party (if possible) can help you recover these damages.
For example, let’s assume you are rear-ended while driving for work. You can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver (3rd party). In the 3rd party claim, you can recover your past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. If you are in a car accident while driving for work, you should immediately contact one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your rights and options.
Contact a Key West & Marathon Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
If you are looking for a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida to help you with your claim, our Key West & Marathon workers’ compensation lawyers at Florida Keys Injury are here. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.