Usually not, which makes it more important for you to have a professional on your side to maximize the limited benefits you can get from workers’ comp, and to guide you through the many options you have after an on-the-job injury. We’ll touch on those in a second.
Even though the general rule is that you can’t collect for pain and suffering, there is one important exception. If you can prove someone besides your employer caused you to get hurt, you can sue the at-fault party in a third-party action. The classic example is a car crash when you’re driving for work.
Workers' Compensation Excludes Pain and Suffering
The reason you usually can’t get pain and suffering in workers’ comp is due to the nature of workers’ compensation. It’s basically an agreement between employees and employers (for all practical purposes, employer insurance companies). Employees agree not to sue employers for work injuries. In exchange, employers provide certain benefits for most job injuries, without requiring the employee to prove fault.
Here are the basic benefits that South Carolina workers’ compensation provides. You’ll be most interested in the last one:
- Free medical care related to your injury.
- Partial pay if you can’t work from the injury. This is called temporary total disability (TTD) or a “weekly check.” It’s basically two-thirds of your average paycheck. It starts the eighth calendar day you miss work.
- Compensation for permanent disability. Part of this can be pain and disability, much like pain and suffering. This cash portion of a workers’ compensation settlement is largely driven by an impairment rating given you by the doctor.
- The most severely hurt workers can get benefits for life.
Even though you can’t get money for pain and suffering, your workers’ compensation case can be complicated with all its settlement options. And you’ll likely be confronted by an insurance company seeking every chance to make things hard on you and shortchange you in the end. Don’t let that happen. No matter how seriously you are hurt, take the time to call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416, or start a live chat where you are. We can talk about your options and see if we can help you protect your rights to the medical care you need and the financial compensation you should get.