Getting Back On Track After A Work Injury
Whether you work on an oil rig or in an office, you run the risk of suffering a work-related injury. Injuries can range from broken bones sustained in sudden accidents, to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, to chronic illnesses developed over years of exposure to harmful chemicals. Whatever the cause and whatever the injury sustained, it is important to seek medical help. If you were injured on the job, or even on the way to or from work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. By earning workers’ compensation, you can make sure that insurance covers every last cent of the medical care you need.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance that is intended to compensate for lost work time and to cover medical care for any injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. If a worker earns full workers’ compensation, all of his or her medical costs are covered by insurance. By agreeing to accept worker’s’ compensation, an employee loses the ability to file a lawsuit against his or her employer.
Unless substances of abuse were involved, most injured workers wind up receiving workers’ compensation. That said, the dynamic between insurance companies, medical providers, and employers can make receiving benefits a challenge. For that reason, it is important to follow all of the proper steps when applying for workers’ compensation.
How to Apply For Workers’ Compensation
First thing’s first: if you’ve been injured on the job, seek medical care immediately. Not only is this the smart thing to do, but it will also boost your chances of receiving compensation. When you’re in a position to start managing your case, you’ll want to follow these simple steps:
- Notify your supervisor (in writing) about the injury
- Contact your state’s Workers’ Compensation Board and file a claim
- Obtain an initial report from your physician within 48 hours of receiving treatment
- Make sure that your employer reports the injury to the state workers’ compensation board and to your insurance provider
- Contact your insurance provider for a written statement of rights
- Seek assistance from a work accident attorney to ensure that you earn full compensation
If you take longer than thirty days to complete these steps, you may compromise your eligibility for workers’ compensation. Workers who submit their paperwork as soon as possible can expect to start receiving benefits within eighteen days of the initial report.
When To Seek Care From A Chiropractor
Depending on the type of injury you’ve sustained, you may want to visit a chiropractor. In 2013, musculoskeletal disorders (including basic sprains, strains, back, and joint injuries) accounted for a full third of all workplace injuries. Chiropractors excel at providing long-term treatment for many of the most common workplace injuries, and full workers’ compensation benefits are obligated to cover those treatments. If you’ve suffered any of the following injuries on the job, chiropractic care may be the right choice for you:
- Back and neck injuries (sprains, strains, disc and joint pain)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Headaches (resulting from joint injuries, muscle tension, or office chair posture)
- Nerve pain, numbness, and tingling
- Rotator cuff injuries
The Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care
According to a 2007 study, chiropractic care was found to reduce “pain and disability” and improve “general health status” in patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions. Because the study assessed patients of low socioeconomic status, it also recommended chiropractic care as a cost-effective means of providing care for joint, spine, and muscle injuries. A 2010 review indicated that chiropractic treatment is helpful for a wide variety of work-related conditions, including back and neck pain, migraine headaches, joint conditions, and whiplash-related injuries.
Because a skilled chiropractor can address a wide array of work-related injuries in a cost-effective manner, chiropractic care is becoming more and more commonly utilized by patients in workers’ compensation scenarios. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that over 35 million Americans visit chiropractors each year. Patients who seek chiropractic care spend less time recovering and more time working. They also avoid further medical care – including expensive orthopedic surgery – in the future. The care provided by an experienced chiropractor treats the whole patient, and not just the affected area. Chiropractic treatment remains an invaluable resource for employees looking to get well and get back to work.
Kevin Marciano, Esquire, is the Managing Partner of Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. Marciano focuses his practice on representing catastrophic injury victims, including claims for medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, product liability, premises liability, construction accidents, liquor liability, personal injury and mass tort class actions.