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I’ve been injured in the workplace. Can I sue for pain and suffering?

May 31 2019

If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you or someone you know was injured while on the job or at a workplace. While the question of whether or not you can recover from pain or suffering comes up quite a bit, many are not aware of what the law says about workers’ compensation.

The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act passed the state legislature in 1948 and is administered by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Like many other states, it does not include recovery for pain and suffering.

In some states, however, it is possible to recover for emotional distress caused by an accident or injury, but the only benefits guaranteed to an injured employee are usually wage-loss benefits and medical expenses. Let’s look further into some of the questions you likely have about pain and suffering as a result of your injury:

What do the rules say about pain and suffering recovery?

Pain and suffering include not only the injury itself, but it can often include mental or emotional “injury,” such as depression or embarrassment that can occur in tandem or as a result of the physical injury. Because workers’ compensation is established on a state-by-state basis, it can differ significantly from personal injury cases, which typically includes recovery provisions for pain and suffering. Mississippi has a basic, no-fault, elective system, which means when you file workers’ compensation, you technically waive the right to sue for pain and suffering.

What if a third party causes an injury?

In a few cases, the injury is actually caused by an individual other than the employer while on the employer’s property or in a workplace. If this situation presents itself, it may be possible to file a separate lawsuit against that third party, especially if it is a co-worker, contractor, vendor, or another associated person in that workplace. In this separate suit, you may be eligible to file for pain and suffering recovery. However, this is different from a traditional workers’ compensation claim.

What are the rules surrounding how I go about reporting an on the work injury?

It’s clear that to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury to your employer, but many people aren’t aware that it has to happen within a specific time frame. In Mississippi, it’s best to report the injury as soon as possible after the incident, but don’t wait too long. Your claim may be denied after the 30-day mark after your injury occurred. Once you’ve informed your employer that you’ve been injured, it is their responsibility to notify the insurance company, who will then review your claim.

What if I’m unhappy with how my injury was handled?

If you are unhappy with the way your claim has been handled, you should contact us immediately. If you do not have an attorney, be advised your employer or the insurance representative handling your claim may or may not be looking out for their own interests.  If your claim has been accepted, it should quickly be paid by the employer or the insurance carrier. For any questions, the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission has contacts available to assist. If it has been denied for any reason, we can help.

Dealing with the fallout from a traumatic injury is painful enough. We understand all of the legal, emotional, physical and financial ramifications can be burdensome.

Contact ‘Maggio | Thompson, serving Gulfport, Jackson, and surrounding areas for a number of legal issues. We do what’s best for our clients. You can always trust us to be honest and have your best interest in mind. Just give us a call today at 601.300.3333.

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