Your State’s workers’ compensation law may not provide any recovery specifically for your pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of opportunities in your life, or the impact of your injury on your family or other people in your life.
Employment benefits (such as health insurance or pension contributions) may not be protected under the workers’ compensation statute, and employers have no obligation to maintain or replace them. However, there may be protections under other state laws or federal laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act.
The workers’ compensation law is based on a policy of “trade off”–in exchange for quick payment of limited benefits without having to prove fault, neither you nor your spouse is allowed to sue your employer or a co-employee about a work-related injury.
However, if your injury is due to the fault of someone besides your employer or a co-employee, you may also, in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits, bring a legal claim against the person who caused your injury. For instance, if you were driving from your place of employment to a construction site and were hit by another driver, you would be entitled to claim both workers’ compensation benefits from your own employer and also sue the driver at fault. If you do recover money from another person for your injuries, you will be required to pay back the amount you received in workers’ compensation benefits necessary to prevent a “double recovery.”
Other public benefits
You may also have the right to collect Social Security Disability benefits or private disability insurance benefits in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. However, whether it is in your interests to pursue a claim will depend, among other things, upon your earning history and potential adverse income tax consequences. If you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, you may also qualify for Medicare coverage for treatment of conditions that are not related to your workers’ compensation claim.