While the Kansas workers compensation system can provide an effective means to obtain medical care and partial replacement for lost income resulting from workplace injuries, the compensation available under an employer’s workers compensation system may be more limited than personal injury damages. Compensation under an employer’s workers compensation insurance typically will be limited to medical care, temporary disability benefits and compensation based on an employee’s percentage of permanent disability.
While these benefits can provide an important means for injury victims to get their lives back on track after a workplace accident, there are many forms of damages available in a personal injury lawsuit that are not available as part of a Kansas workers compensation claim. Some of the types of damages that are exclusively available in a civil lawsuit for personal injury include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress/Mental anguish
These forms of non-economic damages often constitute the most significant components of a damage award in a personal injury lawsuit so the unavailability of these forms of financial recovery can significantly impact one’s financial security following a worksite injury. Recovery for economic losses like lost wages and diminished earning potential also is frequently more extensive in a personal injury lawsuit than a workers compensation claim.
The primary benefit of pursuing a claim under Kansas workers compensation insurance is the speed of recovery and the lack of necessity of establishing the fault of one’s employer. Because of the less extensive recovery, many times our Kansas workers compensation law firm will also explore the viability of a personal injury claim against responsible third parties. While the workers compensation system generally provides an exclusive remedy against an employer for on-the-job injuries and fatalities, a third party that was negligent may still be sued for personal injury even if an injured employee receives benefits through the workers compensation system.
When our Kansas workers compensation law firm represents a worker injured while performing duties for their employer, we explore the factual circumstances to identify potential third parties who may be sued as defendants in a civil lawsuit for damages. Sometimes the conduct of product suppliers, manufacturers of defective equipment, contractors and other parties may contribute to a workplace injury.
If you or someone close to you has suffered an employment-related injury, experienced Kansas workers compensation lawyer Michael R. Lawless can help you pursue your workers compensation claim and even a personal injury lawsuit based on third party liability. Our Lenexa, KS workers compensation law firm offers a free consultation so call us toll free at 1-800-734-3771 or visit our website and submit a case inquiry form.