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Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Pain and Suffering in California?

You got injured or sick as a direct result of your job. While you’re aware that workers’ comp will come in handy, you aren’t sure whether or not your pain and suffering as a result of the injury or illness will be covered. Now, you’re wondering “Does workers’ comp pay for pain and suffering in California?” When you find out the answer, you can decide how you want to move forward.

Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation

If you got injured or sick at work and need representation, we’re here for you. Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury.  Richard Irwin has been a certified specialist (certified by the State of California as a specialist in Workers’ Comp) for well over 20 years! We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that’s rightfully yours.

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?  In California, businesses are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage. Note that independent contractors and employees are not the same thing. If you receive benefits like health care insurance and paid sick and family leave, and your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck, then you are almost certainly classified as an employee.

Workers’ comp pays for the costs incurred due to injury or an illness in the workplace. This injury or illness may have happened suddenly, or it could have progressed over time. Both are covered.  An example of happening over time: perhaps someone developed issues with their lungs or carpal tunnel from working over a long period of time.

The workers’ comp coverage will provide benefits like medical care, permanent and temporary disability benefits, death benefits, a return-to-work supplement, and supplemental job displacement benefits.

What Is Pain and Suffering?  Pain and suffering is used as a legal phrase. It describes the physical discomfort and pain you may have experienced as a result of your illness or injury. The negative emotions you experienced from your illness or injury would also qualify as pain and suffering. Emotions like anger, frustration, and depression would all be part of your pain and suffering.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Pain and Suffering?

 Unfortunately, workers’ comp does not cover pain and suffering as such. Pain and suffering are covered under a personal injury lawsuit, and even if you got injured at work, you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit.  Our attorneys will explain this and given advice as to the options and best course to take.

A “third party lawsuit” might be initiated if a third party is involved. For instance, you may have been sitting at the front desk of your office when a delivery driver came in and spilled hot food on you. As a result, you suffered from burns. You will get workers’ compensation and be entitled to make a claim against the delivery company.  Or, you might have gotten into a car accident that wasn’t your fault when you were running errands for your employer. In these cases, you would pursue legal action against the responsible party and their insurance provider, and you would still get workers’ comp benefits.

Even emotional or mental disorders may be covered.

Future Medical Need for additional medical attention in the future, whether in the form of treatment, or exams, or prescriptions and even surgery, are covered by workers’ compensation if needed.

What to Do If You Suffer From Illness or Injury on the Job

 If you get sick or injured on the job, it’s critical to go to the doctor right away. You need to get a full-check up, including X-rays if necessary. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and take it seriously. If you do not, this won’t look good for your claim. You must be vigilant about your care, and your claim may not be paid.

A workers’ comp claim should be opened with your employer right away. The employer should report of the injury to start the process.  Make sure you thoroughly document what happened. If you experienced pain or illness gradually, document every time that you didn’t feel well.  List possible witnesses.

You should also note whether or not your employer had the proper safety precautions in place to protect workers. For instance, they may not have put up signs or given you the right safety equipment, or trained you or other employees thoroughly enough.

What Should You Do If You Experience a Personal Injury at Work?

If a third party caused your injury at your workplace, then you should write down what happened and a list of witnesses’ names and contact information.  Take photographs of the scene of the accident and of your visible injuries and damage to your belongings, if there is any. Check your workplace or wherever you’re located for cameras that may have been videotaping what happened. If you got into a car accident, then call the police and file a police report as well. You should make sure to get the other driver’s insurance information and take photos of their license plate and driver’s license.

Then, go to the hospital immediately for a check-up. Again, just like with workers’ comp, follow your doctor’s orders in order to have the best chance possible of getting the settlement you deserve.

The best course of action is to immediately contact a personal injury attorney for assistance. We will calculate the economic damages, like your medical costs and loss of wages from having to take off work, and your non-economic damages, like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, and negotiate with the insurance company.

You’ll be able to focus on what matters most: your recovery. At the same time, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that someone is advocating for you.

If you are facing issues with workers’ comp, our attorneys can help you with that.  Your workers’ comp attorney will push for the maximum benefits for you so you aren’t left out in the cold. You’ll hopefully be able to go back to work, or find more suitable employment, in no time.

Get in Touch With Heiting & Irwin for Help

If you were injured at work and need to pursue a workers’ comp or personal injury case, Heiting & Irwin is here for you. We have dealt with many such injury cases and will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.

Mr. Irwin is a recognized specialist in Workers’ Compensation law. He has been certified as a specialist by the State Bar of California since 1995. He limits his practice to handling only workers’ compensation cases. View Attorney Richard Irwin's Attorney Bio Here.

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