Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance that employers must pay out to employees who sustain injuries on the job. In exchange for this no-fault approach, employees give up their rights to sue their employers for damages that workers’ compensation does not cover.
Many individuals who sustain injuries that are severe enough to put them out of work also live with physical pain and mental suffering. If you experience pain and suffering following your work injury, you may wonder if you can receive compensation for these types of damages under workers’ comp. FindLaw explains the damages available under the workers’ comp system.
Types of expenses workers’ compensation covers
The damages workers’ compensation insurance covers are very modest. Unfortunately, the insurance only covers economic damages, or those damages that the insurer can easily calculate. Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage and is therefore non-compensable. The damages that you can collect are as follows:
- Compensation for lost income
- Reimbursement for medical care that was the result of the illness or injury
- Retraining costs
- Compensation for ongoing or permanent injuries
- Survivor benefits for individuals who sustain fatal, on-the-job injuries
You should also note that workers’ compensation does not cover the complete cost of your wages. Wage replacement benefits typically amount to two-thirds of your average weekly income. However, the insurer must abide by a fixed maximum that the benefits cannot exceed, which means you may receive substantially less than what you typically earn. You may become eligible for wage replacement benefits once you miss just a few days because of the work-related illness or injury.