Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering After a Workers’ Compensation Payout?



construction site injury

If you are injured on the job or become ill due to employment conditions, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for reimbursement of medical costs and lost wages. Workers’ comp lets employees get paid quickly for their losses without having to prove who was at fault for an accident or illness. The downside of the no-fault system is that it is your exclusive remedy against your employer. However, if a third party caused or contributed to causing the accident or illness, that party may be held liable for damages, including pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses.

Injuries due to third-party conduct can arise in several situations:

  • An employee who slips and falls on a wet floor or trips on debris left by a maintenance crew may hold contractors responsible for creating those conditions.
  • A worker hurt by machinery that malfunctions can claim there was a design or manufacturing defect that made the machine unsafe, even if used as intended.
  • On a construction site, there are likely to be contractors and subcontractors involved in multiple operations, such as laying pipes, pouring cement, framing buildings and installing electrical services. The site owner has a duty to minimize hazards that could harm a worker or anyone else on the premises.
  • If a truck driver delivering products for his employer is injured in a traffic accident, he may file a claim under his personal or company auto insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection coverage. For serious injuries that exceed the limits of PIP coverage, the truck driver may seek to hold another party to the accident liable for damages, including pain and suffering.
  • If a truck driver loading or unloading cargo at a customer’s location is injured because of a hazardous condition, such as an icy walkway or damaged stairs, he may be entitled to damages from the property owner.

If you suffer a serious injury on the job and you believe someone other than your employer may be at fault, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether you have a potential claim against the third party for damages, including pain and suffering.

Located in the District of Columbia, May Lightfoot, PLLC handles workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits in the Maryland and Washington, D. C. area. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 202-919-6463 or contact us online.