What You Should Know About Re-injuries and Workers’ Comp
Today, workers in America have an abundance of rights related to employment, but this hasn’t always been the case. Luckily, fights for workers’ rights over the past century changed the way workers are treated. Many employees quickly appreciate this after suffering injuries on the job.
Because of those who fought in the past, those injured while at work can now claim worker’s compensation benefits. Unfortunately, these injuries aren’t always over once a person recovers benefits and goes back to work. In fact, re-injuries are a common occurrence that anyinjured worker should understand.
Legal Issues with Re-injuries
There are a variety of legal issues that must be considered if a person’s prior work injury returns after they’ve ceased receiving worker’s comp benefits. One of the main considerations is whether or not the re-injury was work related.
In some cases, a person could sustain a back injury at work, fully recover, return to their job and then re-injure their back while trying to put their child’s tree house together. An employer or their insurer will likely claim that this re-injury wasn’t caused by their job in these cases.In some instances, however, what seems to be a re-injury may be nothing more than the previous injury resurfacing. This often occurs if a person returns to work too quickly. Unfortunately, insurers will often try to act as if a resurfacing injury, or even a legitimate work-related re-injury, is a different and unrelated case altogether. This makes it imperative in most instances for a person to seek out an attorney if they re-injure themselves at work or have returning pain.Common Causes for Re-injuries
There are a variety of causes for re-injuries in the workplace, and many of the injuries that reoccur are common. Statistics actually show that about 25 percent of all work-related back injuries are re-injuries. Other common re-injuries occur in a worker’s joints, hips, neck and even hands. As mentioned, there are a variety of causes for these recurrences:
- Returning to work before an injury has had a chance to fully heal.
- An initial injury was far more serious than first anticipated.
- Engaging in strenuous activities that aren’t work related.
Not all injuries, however, have the same chances of recurring. One Michigan worker at an energy company, for instance, received serious electrical burns while on the job. While this worker is very likely to receive benefits, these types of injuries have to fully heal before the worker can return to their job.
Handling Work-Related Re-injuries
The first thing that a person should do if they think they’ve experienced a re-injury while working is visit their doctor. It’s imperative, however, to not say anything that may sound like the injury was suffered outside of work.
Saying “My back really acted up after lifting those groceries today,” for instance, may lead the doctor to mistakenly notate that the injury was sustained outside of work. Insurers will then jump at the chance to say that this is a new injury and not work related.After seeing a physician, a person should immediately call a worker’s compensation attorney. As mentioned, these cases can be excessively difficult to prove since insurers will try their best to avoid additional payouts.
In cases where an injury simply didn’t heal, many legal professionals can actually just extend the initial worker’s comp claim. Due to the variety of outcomes in these situations, legal representation is a necessity.Being injured on the job can be extremely disheartening. The inability to go to work and earn a living can take a toll on a person financially, and when this inability arises due to a re-injury, the situation can be especially stressful. Luckily, re-injuries are often still eligible for benefits, so a worker will be able to keep their head above water until they’ve fully recovered.
Jamica Bell is a blogger and freelance writer. She contributes this article to highlight the rate of re-injuries after a workers’ compensation claim. While researching, she came across http://www.stroble.com/
, which has been a great resource for information, especially for individuals impacted by work related injuries.
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