Every year, hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers suffer injuries on the job with strains and sprains, cuts and punctures, bruises, inflammation and fractures being among the most commonly reported. While these types of injuries may not be life-threatening, they are painful and, if not promptly diagnosed and treated, can become more serious and result in a worker suffering permanent damage.
For a worker, the personal and financial costs associated with a workplace injury can be significant. The financial costs of an injury may include medical bills and also the days, weeks or months that a worker must take off of work to seek treatment for and heal from his or her injuries. The financial costs of even seemingly minor types of work injuries can quickly add up as old injuries may later become aggravated and lead to even more serious injuries and financially burdens.
While the actual monetary costs of a workplace injury can be accounted for by keeping track of doctor’s bills and lost wages, personal costs are often more difficult to quantify. Pain and complications associated with a workplace injury may not only result in a worker missing work, but also missing out on the rest of life too. A workplace injury can make it difficult to impossible to clean and maintain a home, participate in enjoyable activities and play with children or grandchildren. In short, a workplace injury can negatively impact a worker’s happiness and overall quality of life issue.
For workers who are injured while performing job-related duties, it’s important to report an injury to an employer as soon as possible and to see a doctor to obtain a formal diagnosis and treatment plan. Additionally, it’s wise to consult with an attorney who understands the workers’ compensation claims process and who can answer questions and advocate on one’s behalf.
Not only is the workers’ compensation claims process confusing, but some employers fail to take the situation serious and may be more worried about their own bottom lines. Additionally, insurance companies often deny valid claims for various reasons including assertions of missing paperwork and insufficient evidence of an injury.
After suffering a workplace injury, a worker’s focus should be on recovery. To help ensure that an injured worker receives prompt and proper care and compensation for a workplace injury, an attorney can assist in the initial filing of a worker’s compensation claim as well as advocate on a worker’s behalf when communicating with an employer and insurance provider.
If you are planning to file a workers’ compensation claim or have a claim that is denied, an attorney will provide information and advice related to your rights and what steps can be taken to ensure that you receive proper care and compensation for your injury.