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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Workers Compensation / Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover Pain & Suffering

Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover Pain & Suffering


When someone is injured on the job in Florida, they are generally entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits, with rare exceptions. If your claim is accepted, you will be eligible to receive medical care and lost wages, as well as certain other benefits. Something workers’ compensation will never pay for, however, is damages for pain and suffering (also sometimes referred to as mental anguish). While this may seem fair, it is entirely understandable under Florida’s current law.

A Bargain Between Employee & Employer

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, designed to streamline the process of getting one’s employees back to work at the cost of having to cover more claims than an employer might otherwise prefer. The employee gives up the right to file suit against their employer for negligence, and the employer agrees to cover (almost) all claims. However, this bargain is made for tangible costs only.

What this means is that workers’ compensation does not generally cover intangible damages. There are two types of damages in civil lawsuits. Economic or ‘tangible’ damages are those that can be quantified with relative ease – hospital bills are the most common example. Non-economic or ‘intangible’ damages, by comparison, are those that are more difficult to assign a number or amount, and pain and suffering damages are the leading example.

Why Not Cover Pain & Suffering?

It may seem unfair not to cover pain & suffering damages, given how significant they can be over time. However, intangible damages are so difficult to quantify that any attempt would last long beyond an employee’s workers’ compensation claim – establishing an objective value can be an exercise in frustration, placing an injured employee in limbo when they should be focusing on healing.

That said, there is one situation in which an on-the-job injury may yield payments for pain and suffering, and that is if your injury was caused by a third party. The ‘bargain’ an employee makes is between them and their employer – they have made no promise of any kind to third parties. A person can both seek workers’ compensation benefits and file suit against a negligent third party – simply be advised that any money paid out in workers’ compensation has to be repaid to the insurer if they prevail at trial.

Contact A Winter Park Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been injured on the job, it is important that you be aware of what will be covered by workers’ compensation. Calling a Winter Park workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help you understand your options moving forward. Call our office at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.



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