Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws provide compensation for on-the-job injuries. It provides a system for relatively efficient compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Workers’ compensation claims, however, fail to take into account the pain and suffering the injury has caused. This means that in a workers’ compensation case you may not be getting the total value of your claim. This does not mean, however, that pain and suffering are irrelevant in a workers’ compensation case.
What is pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term used to describe a host of injuries that a plaintiff may suffer in an accident. It includes not just physical pain but emotional and mental injuries such as insomnia, grief, fear, worry, inconvenience, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Gross Negligence by the Employer
Because of the workers’ compensation system, there are limited circumstances where you can sue your employer for pain and suffering if your injury is the result of your employer’s negligence. You could file a separate lawsuit against your employer if the employer were grossly negligent. This means that the employer was so negligent and so wantonly careless, that its actions were almost intentional. This is very rare and very difficult to prove.
Recovering pain and suffering through a third party lawsuit
The most common way to receive compensation for pain and suffering is by pursuing a claim against a third party (not the employer and not the employee), who may be responsible for your injuries. A classic example of this is when someone is injured in a car accident while on the job, and that accident was the result of a third party’s negligence. Another example is when you’ve been injured by a defective product while on the job. You could have a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or company that sold the defective product to your employer. This claim is separate from the workers’ compensation claim. This means you could file a workers’ comp claim for the injury you sustained on the job and then a separate lawsuit against the third party to get compensation for pain and suffering and any other damages not available from Maryland workers’ comp.
Contact an Experienced Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Being injured at work is a stressful time, and it is important to hire an attorney to make sure that you are getting the compensation to which you are entitled. Michael Schreyer, one of the attorneys of Alpert Schreyer, LLC, has extensive experience in the field of workers’ compensation and can help you through the process. Contact us online or call us at (301) 812-4777 for a free consultation.