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How to Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering After a Work-Related Injury

September 14, 2021By Niko Pothitakis

Iowa law doesn’t allow injured workers to recover compensation for pain and suffering when filing a workers’ comp claim. However, employees may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party to recover for physical and/or emotional pain and discomfort.

Recoverable Benefits in Workers’ Comp Cases

Workers’ compensation generally allows injury victims to recover three types of workers’ comp benefits. These include:

Medical Benefits

Victims may be able to recover compensation to cover the cost of medical treatment and travel to and from appointments.

Temporary Disability

Injured workers may also recover compensation for lost wages if they missed work because of a work-related injury.

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability benefits compensate victims for permanent impairments caused by a work-related injury. The amount of compensation will vary based on the part of the body injured and the nature of the injury.

Using Pain and Suffering to Prove the Extent of an Injury

Victims of work-related injuries may be unable to recover compensation for pain and suffering and other types of non-economical damages through the Iowa workers’ compensation system, but these damages are still important to their work injury claims. Pain and suffering experienced should be documented to help prove how severe an injury is. Additionally, workers may be entitled to additional benefits if the physical pain from their work injury caused a mental or emotional condition that requires treatment.

Injured workers can detail the pain and suffering they endure by keeping a journal. Following an injury, individuals can write down how they’re feeling and any pain they’re experiencing, including physical and mental distress. Documentation could help show insurers how severe the injury is, which may help maximize the amount of compensation recoverable for medical costs, along with temporary or permanent disability.

How to Recover Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Injured workers may still be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering caused by a workplace injury if someone other than their employer was responsible for their accident. For example, they can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused a car accident, a manufacturer of faulty equipment that caused them to be injured, or a cleaning company that contributed to a work-related slip and fall.