Work injuries are becoming more and more common. Whether you have a light duty desk job or you are lifting heavy boxes all day, there are various ways to get injured while at work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, in 2017 there were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers.
Dealing with your work injury and the worker’s compensation process can be extremely stressful and frustrating. On top of worrying about your injury and wondering if you’ll ever get back to normal, you are also faced with bills and whether your job is secure. No matter how frustrating and stressful the situation becomes, it’s important that injured employees get the treatment they need and give themselves time to heal. In other words, don’t rush back to work. Forcing yourself to return to work too soon could lead to additional injuries and prolonged recovery time.
Here are several things you can do to help you successfully recover from a work injury:
Recognize That You Are Injured
If there’s a work injury, no matter how trivial or small it may seem, it’s better to recognize the injury than to ignore it. Chances are if you ignore your injury it won’t go away. The sooner you recognize your injury and seek treatment, the sooner you’ll be in recovery mode. Plus, if you ignore your injury and keep working, the injury could get significantly worse.
Attend Your Treatment
Consistently attend your doctor’s appointments and treatment sessions. If your injury requires therapy to improve your condition, attend each and every therapy session when scheduled. Missing appointments and treatment sessions not only jeopardizes your recovery, it can also compromise your worker’s compensation claim and your entitlement to benefits.
Communicate With Your Doctors
Always tell your doctors and treatment providers exactly where your pain is and what complications you are experiencing. Be as thorough, honest, and detailed as possible. Doing so allows your doctors to accurately assess your injury, review your treatment options with you, and recommend the best course of treatment to improve your condition.
Follow your Restrictions
If your doctor restricts you to lifting no more than 10 lbs., then you better not be lifting anything heavier than 10 lbs. Ignoring your doctors’ restrictions can result in additional injuries and prolonged recovery times. It’s best to take it easy and strictly adhere to your doctor’s orders.
Communicate With Your Employer
After suffering a workplace injury, one of the first things you should do is notify your employer of the injury. It is important that you start the worker’s compensation claim process as soon as possible so that you can get help sooner rather than later. Plus, you don’t want to run up against the statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim. Once your formal claim has been started, openly communicate with your employer about your treatment and your recovery time frame. Communicating regularly with your employer will hopefully put their mind at ease regarding the scope of your injury, the course of your treatment, and your intent to return to work. It should also give you peace of mind knowing that you are trying to maintain the employer-employee relationship. When you do return to work, speak with your employer to ensure you are performing duties that are within your restrictions and comfort level. The last thing you need is to re-injure yourself again.
Hire an Experienced Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
In Connecticut, trying to navigate the worker’s compensation claim process and laws can be very stressful in and of itself. If you hire an experienced Connecticut worker’s comp lawyer, your lawyer can take that burden off you so you can focus on your recovery. Your worker’s compensation lawyer can help to coordinate your treatment and often obtain authorization for treatment from the insurance company quicker than you can do so yourself. In other words, if your treatment falls off course your worker’s comp lawyer should be able to get it back on track and headed in the right direction. Best of all, most Connecticut worker’s compensation attorneys will take your case on a contingency, meaning you do not owe them attorney’s fees unless they are able to secure certain worker’s compensation benefits for you. Lueker Mott Zezula takes all worker’s compensation cases on a contingency basis.
Experiencing a work injury can be an extremely frustrating experience, especially if it’s a life-changing, permanent injury. Claimants often become upset, angry, and withdrawn - not only because of their injuries, but because of issues with their worker’s compensation claim and how it is being handled. If you are experiencing difficulty with your worker’s compensation claim, contact an attorney for help. This will allow you to focus on your recovery and maintain a positive attitude. Set positive treatment goals for yourself and focus on achieving those goals. Positivity goes a long way toward a successful recovery.
Lueker Mott Zezula. Exceptional Injury Lawyers. (203) 408-6500