No, you can not get pain and suffering with workers’ compensation in Georgia. Workers’ compensation is a limited liability, no-fault insurance coverage. It covers employees for work-related injuries and provides compensation for specific types of damages—up to certain limits—irrespective of who was at fault for the accident. However, pain and suffering damages are not awarded with workers’ compensation payouts.
Depending on the nature of your case, you may be able to file a separate personal injury claim for pain and suffering damages against a negligent, reckless, or careless at-fault party that harmed you in an accident. However, such a claim would be separate from your workers’ compensation claim.
Types of Workplace Injuries
Workers can suffer a wide range of injuries and losses during routine work. From long-term, chronic illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, and back pain from working at a desk to slips and falls, electrocutions, or machine accidents, workplaces can be dangerous. Common injuries suffered by workers, either at a designated workplace or while performing work duties elsewhere, include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Burns, chemical exposure, and respiratory illnesses
- Lacerations, contusions, and amputations
- Internal organ damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve, muscle, soft tissue, or ligament damage
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falling, being hit by an object, being electrocuted, and getting caught in or between objects are the four leading causes of workplace deaths. Hundreds of thousands of non-fatal injuries also occur at workplaces across the country from similar causes. Many of these accidents may be covered, at least in part, by workers’ compensation policies.
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Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Workers’ compensation can be used to cover medical treatment costs for work-related injuries, as well as for lost income or an inability to work, up to certain limits. The duration for which an injured worker can claim these benefits varies depending on the severity of his or her injuries.
Typically, Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) provides injured workers with two-thirds of their normal pay, with a maximum limit of $675 per week. This payment lasts for the duration of the time the employee cannot work. Permanent injuries, such as the loss of an appendage or damage to hearing or vision, can factor into the length of time an employee may receive benefits.
Furthermore, in cases involving the death of a loved one, qualifying dependents can claim the same benefits that the deceased worker would have been entitled to if he or she suffered a non-fatal injury, but only up to the $675 weekly limit. These benefits continue for 400 weeks, at which point the beneficiaries may have received the maximum compensation they are entitled to of $270,000. Again, these weekly benefits do not include and will not include payments for pain or suffering.
Pursuing Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case
If a third-party caused your workplace accident due to their negligent acts, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against them. For example, say you were driving a van for a delivery company. If another driver ran a red light and struck your vehicle, injuring you, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
In a personal injury claim, accident victims may be able to recover:
- Current and future medical care costs
- Lost wages and reduced earning capability
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic damages
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Can Help You
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers represents clients in both workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases in the Atlanta area. If you were injured on the job, we may be able to help you file for workers’ compensation benefits or appeal a denial of benefits. We can also evaluate your accident to determine if there may be a liable third party for you to pursue for pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Our firm can handle all deadlines, legal work, and communications when we represent you. We may be able to take your case on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payments required.
To learn more about whether or not you can get pain and suffering or workers’ compensation for your injuries, please contact a representative of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (678) 562-5595.