When you are injured at work, chances are good you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which will help you stay afloat financially by covering medical bills and at least a portion of lost wages. However, unlike a personal injury lawsuit, you won’t be entitled to collect damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of life enjoyment. The trade-off is you don’t have to prove your employer was negligent, only that the injury happened in the course and scope of employment.
That said, you may have grounds to seek those other kinds of damages if there was a third party involved who was negligent. Be warned, though, that if you have already collected workers’ compensation benefits for these injuries, you can’t collect any damages twice. So for instance, if your workers’ compensation insurer pays $50,000 in medical bills, you can’t collect that $50,000 from the third-party defendant. But this does not mean the third-party defendant doesn’t have to pay. Instead, it means the insurer that paid those bills can stake a claim (or a lien) to those damages you obtain as a result of a third-party claim.