Pain and Suffering

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are accomplished advocates in the area of disability law. We are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the full extent of benefits for loss of function, scarring, disfigurement, and other injuries arising from job-related accidents. For over 20 years, the attorneys based in our Boston office have faithfully represented disabled workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

No Benefits for Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental distress resulting from an injury. Also known as “special damages,” pain and suffering is awarded separately from other personal injury damages, such as property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and future costs. Unlike precise, calculated awards, pain and suffering is “non-economic,” or subjective, and may involve:

  • Soreness, aches
  • Shortened life
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost relationship
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent scarring
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Lost limb or function
  • Limitations on activity
  • Physical disfigurement

Injured workers and personal injury victims can certainly experience the same pain and suffering resulting as those harmed in non work-related accidents. Both kinds of injuries may have been caused by negligence. But workers do not receive damages for pain and suffering because Massachusetts is a “no fault” state. Because workers need not prove negligence to recover workers’ compensation benefits, they are not awarded the same personal injury damages.

No Fault Trade-Off

A fault-free system means that workers do not have to show that an employer or co-worker caused their work-related injuries in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. They are only required to prove that their disability happened at work. Employers and insurers must then pay injured workers a portion of their lost wages. In exchange, workers lose the right to sue employers for personal injury. This includes giving up damages for pain and suffering. It is therefore critical to know the pros and cons of filing a legal claim. An experienced attorney can assist you in this regard.

Maximizing Benefits

Because pain and suffering is not available, workers must maximize the benefits that are available under Massachusetts law. Under the workers’ compensation system, this is generally limited to wage replacement or payment for income lost as a result of a job-related injury. Workers can receive up to 66.67% of their gross average weekly wage and annual cost of living increases if they are deemed permanently and totally disabled. Compensation is also potentially available for:

  • Medical expenses
    • Surgical procedures
    • Prescription medication
    • Mileage, parking for treatment
  • Partial disability
  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent loss of function
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death/survivor benefits

The only monetary benefit available other than wage replacement is for permanent loss of function, scarring, or disfigurement. Depending on the severity of the injury, insurers may be required to pay workers a one-time payment of up to $15,000 in addition to other benefits. This award is the closest thing to pain and suffering damages that injured workers can receive under the workers’ compensation system.

Know Your Rights

If you have lost the use of a body part or suffered permanent scarring or disfigurement from a job-related injury, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. For over 20 years, we have successfully recovered compensation for injured workers and families in Boston, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Merrimack Counties, among others. Call (800) 367-0871 today for a free consultation or contact us online.