Written by attorney Geoffrey Trachtenberg

What If You Are Injured at Work? Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?

Generally, but the remedies are very much stacked against you.

Arizona workers' compensation laws are your avenue for redress if you have sustained injuries at work as a result of a co-worker or employer. You don't need to show negligence on the part of your employer to make a claim. What you need to show is that you were in the "course and scope" of your employment at the time you were injured in order to make a workers' compensation claim in Arizona. Unfortunately, these workers' compensation remedies are, to be frank, woefully insufficient.

Remedies are a little better for those injured by a third-party. If a third-party is responsible for your injuries, then you may be able to bring a negligence claim against that party for your damages. An example would be if you slipped and fell at work, and the reason for your fall was negligence on the part of a third-party cleaning company that was hired by your employer to clean the floors at your place of employment.

Unlike regular workers' compensation remedies, remedies involving third-parties are often far superior, but still present serious challenges to being "made whole." In particular, in Arizona, workers' compensation insurance carriers enjoy a substantial right to recoup any benefits paid by them where there is a recovery from a third-party. So this means that any recovery for medical bills paid by the workers' compensation carrier typically goes right back to the carrier (less attorneys' fees and costs). The one notable exception is that these carriers cannot assert any claim to first-party benefits, such as uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist recoveries.

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