No. Pain and suffering is not part of Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. If you sustain an injury at work in Pennsylvania, you are entitled to two- thirds of your wage loss and payment of medical bills (and specific loss benefits if you lose a limb, toe, finger, or suffer disfigurement). Pain and suffering damages are not available because fault is not an issue in Pennsylvania Work Comp cases. (although injuries that are self inflicted or caused by intoxication aren’t compensable, naturally). Some injured workers will receive 90% of their pre injury average weekly wage. And, there is a weekly maximum payment each year too- that changes year to year.
However, if your work injury was caused by a third party- ie, someone other than your Employer, then pain and suffering damages may be available for you in that third party suit, but not in the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation matter.
Consequently, when injured workers hear about large lump sum settlements in a Pennsylvania Work Comp case, the amount of the settlement factors in the loss of earning power and the agreed upon value of future medical treatment- but not pain and suffering. Because the settlements can be large, it is common for injured workers to believe that pain and suffering is part of the equation.
It is simply a trade off. An injured worker in Pennsylvania only has to show he/she was injured in the course and scope of his/her employment- and so, in that respect, it is fairly easy to establish a work injury, but the Employers aren’t punished with pain and suffering damages because whose fault the injury was, isn’t relevant.
Many injured workers become quite frustrated at learning that pain and suffering is not part of PA Work Comp. It’s just a fact. Remember, it’s a no fault system – that’s why. Doesn’t matter if the injury was your fault- you are still covered if it happened in the furtherance of your work activities.
For more information about Pennsylvania Workplace Injury Law, call a proven lawyer fighting for injured workers in Pennsylvania- Michael Cardamone- at 215-206-9068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Free consults 7 days a week