You cannot get pain and suffering benefits from a workers’ compensation case?
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Injured workers dealing with pain need to education themselves on the different types of pain in order to have meaningful conversations with their doctors.; sometimes getting the information that you need is all a matter of asking the right questions. I wanted to share these definitions with you so that you can have more information on the difference between normal pain and when there may be something more going on.
What is pain? The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as: An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.
Acute pain, for the most part, results from disease, inflammation, or injury to tissues. This type of pain generally comes on suddenly, for example, after trauma or surgery, and may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain can usually be diagnosed and treated, and the pain is self-limiting, that is, it is confined to a given period of time and severity. In some rare instances, it can become chronic (though some theorists and researchers have placed the transition from acute to chronic pain at 12 months). Others apply acute to pain that lasts less than 30 days, chronic to pain of more than six months duration, and subacute to pain that lasts from one to six months
Chronic pain is pain that has lasted for a long time. In medicine, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has traditionally been determined by an arbitrary interval of time since onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since onset. A popular alternative definition of chronic pain (involving no arbitrarily fixed duration) is pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing.
People tell me all the time, “This work injury has destroyed me. I have lost all of my savings, I get angry because I am in pain all of the time, it is killing my marriage, I will never be able to get out of this debt, my career is over, can the insurance company be responsible for any of this?”
The truth is there is a lot of pain, suffering, aggravation and anxiety that I see injured workers constantly dealing with. But sadly, in Virginia, you cannot get any money or be compensated for pain and suffering.
This is very frustrating because so many bad things can happen after a work accident – cars get repossessed, houses are foreclosed upon, relationships end under the strain, depression and anxiety issues appear, careers, hopes and dreams get dashed, and all of these things happen in a downward spiral where there really is no recourse.
Injured Workers aren’t made whole like in an auto accident, workers’ comp benefits just keep your head barely above water, but the waves will still keep coming.
Sometimes a settlement can be an option because it helps you get a lump sum of money for a fresh start, but it’s still not money for pain and suffering.
This is why I wrote my book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, it arms injured workers with information so they can get the maximum benefits they are entitled to whether or not they need an attorney.
You can order my free book online at injuredworkers.staging.wpengine.com.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.