Can I Get Pain and Suffering Compensation from Workers Comp?

by Marocka
(Jersey City, NJ)

One day at work I was scheduled to leave early, however I was asked to stay later and help because we were short handed. I was helping another coworker on the ladder, and as I was reaching I lost my balance and fell off the ladder.

I landed on my leg and broke my foot. Due to the fall I had to have surgery to repair my damaged foot. Now the job is paying all of the hospital bills but now I have screws and plates in my foot. I would like to know if I can sue for pain and suffering even though it's not really anyone's fault?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I Get Pain and Suffering Compensation from Workers Comp? ":

Marocka (Jersey City, NJ):

If your company carries workmans compensation insurance you will not be able to sue for pain and suffering. Doing so is proscribed by law. On the other hand if your employer was not required to have workmans compensation insurance and had private insurance instead, there is a chance you might be able to recover an amount for pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering is normally awarded when the victim is able to show he suffered from persistent and serious pain and discomfort.

Although normally breaking one’s foot might not rise to the level necessary for an award of pain and suffering, the fact that you had to have pins and a plate placed into your foot may actually raise your injury to a level sufficient to recover an award for pain and suffering.

The fall really doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. The mere fact you were working at the time of your injury makes your employer liable for your injuries and the resulting medical treatment. Your employer probably isn’t going to voluntarily offer you money for pain and suffering. You will have to ask. If you ask you should be prepared to consider your options if they refuse to compensate you appropriately.

A process used for many years to determine an amount for pain and suffering is to take the total of your medical bills and multiply them by 3, 4 5 or higher. That multiple really depends on how serious you believe the pain and suffering to be.

If, because of the injury you will suffer any permanent impaired movement that should figure heavily into the multiple. If your employer refuses to pay an additional amount for pain and suffering you can either sue him yourself or consider retaining the service of a personal injury attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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