Does Maryland Workers’ Compensation Cover Pain And Suffering?
Maryland employees often face serious risks at the workplace every day, and the injuries that they suffer can cause severe hardship, mentally, physically, and financially. It’s undeniable that workplace injuries can cause intense pain and suffering. However, workers’ compensation is not designed to compensate for that. Rather, pain and suffering is a term used to describe damages available through a personal injury lawsuit. In almost all cases, employees covered by Maryland workers’ compensation insurance are not able to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, that is the trade-off that allows workers’ compensation insurance to exist. It ensures that employees will receive certain benefits, including medical care and full or partial wage replacement, in the event of a workplace accident, and in exchange, also guarantees that the employee cannot sue the employer. This is meant to be a positive trade-off, since it allows the business to streamline its operations without having to deal with constant lawsuits, and it also ensures that employees will receive prompt medical care and benefits, which, if litigated in court, could take over a year to arrive at a settlement.
Are There Any Situations Where a Maryland Employee Can Sue for Pain and Suffering?
There is a perceivable loophole that may allow Maryland employees to collect workers’ compensation benefits for permanent pain and suffering, however, the pain and suffering caused by the accident would have to have been so severe as to cause a mental condition, such as PTSD, to develop. It also would still not be the same as compensation for pain and suffering, as received through a lawsuit, but rather workers’ compensation benefits for the mental health condition – i.e. permanent partial disability benefits due to the mental condition such as PTSD. There is no scenario in which a Maryland employee can sue their employer to recover for pain and suffering through a workers’ compensation claim in the traditional sense. However, in the event that a third-party was involved in causing their employee’s injury, the employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer while also pursuing a personal injury claim against the third-party. In that case, if their claim succeeds, they could recover full civil damages, including compensation for pain and suffering, from the third-party. For instance, if a FedEx driver was making deliveries when they were hit by a reckless driver, the FedEx employee could file a workers’ compensation claim with FedEx and then bring a personal injury claim against the reckless driver. It is important to note for anyone who finds themself in this situation, the order in which workers’ compensation benefits and benefits from the third-party claim are received can drastically affect the final outcome. In these cases, it is essential to work with an attorney.
Schedule a Consultation with Berman, Sobin, Gross
The workers’ compensation process can be difficult to navigate, particularly when you are recovering from a serious injury. Luckily, you do not have to do it alone. The experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers at Berman, Sobin, Gross are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.