Injured at Work and Pain and Suffering in Pennsylvania

When a person is injured at work in Pennsylvania, are they entitled to pain and suffering?  Are they entitled to future lost wages?  What about punitive damages?  There seems to be an assumption that an injured worker in Pennsylvania is entitled to be paid for time out of work (wage loss benefits), have their medical bills paid, and receive pain and suffering and other damages.  The reality is that  injured workers in Pennsylvania are entitled to benefits outlined in the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act and that is it.  That does not include damages, such as pain and suffering.

Work injuries are governed by the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act.  The Act defines benefits that injured workers are entitled to, generally, wage loss benefits, medical benefits, specific loss benefits, and if the injured worker dies as a result of the work injury, death benefits for the family.  That pretty much summarizes what an injured worker in Pennsylvania is entitled to when injured at work.

Many work injuries are serious.  They lead to significant physical disability and mental anguish, such as depression.  These types of cases are the ones where injured workers feel like they are entitled to pain and suffering because all they have gone through because of the work injury, the way the employer treated them, and the fact they may never be able perform their job again.  Some injured workers believe their settlement amount should reflect how many years of work they have left, because they can’t perform the job they were doing when injured, and can’t perform that type of labor ever again.  These reasons are absolutely valid.  However, PA Workers Compensation Act defines the benefits provided and these type of damages are not considered or relevant in workers compensation.  Injured workers need an understanding of that upfront to set reasonable expectations.

Settlement of a workers compensation claim will not include pain and suffering.  It will not include future wage loss.  It will not include punitive damages, such as ones that are meant to punish a defendant.  These type of damages can be sued in personal injury when a party is injured on a person’s property or by person’s negligence.  However, if they injury occurred at work, the injured worker is entitled to workers compensation benefits, and that is it.

There may be limited opportunities to recover additional settlements outside the workers compensation act when injured at work.  Those are considered to be third party claims.  Your injury that occurred was the responsibility of a third party, not to include another employee.  These occur in instances where there may have been an issue of product liability, manufacturing defect, or an automobile accident while working.  They can be complicated and involve subrogation.  The good news for those types of claims is Mooney Law can handle both the workers compensation matter and the third party claim.

If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania or Maryland, call Mooney Law today for an absolutely free consultation.  We have recovered tends of millions of dollars for injured workers across Pennsylvania and Maryland.  We know the law, fight the fight, and recover for our clients.  Call today at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW.  Consultations are absolutely free.


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.