Sunday, December 13, 2009
The Mental Side of Workers Compensation
Often missed in the treatment of a workers compensation injury is the stress, the depression and all that goes with it. Perhaps it is not noticed by the authorized treating physician who is usually picked by the employer. Perhaps it is considered just situational and not of any significance in treatment or impairment/disability. But the claimant and claimant's attorney are often well aware of the impact of an injury on the emotional or psychological well being of the claimant. The family also must live with it. If your trade or occupation is in jeopardy the anxiety may escalate to a high level. In many ways it is the hidden side of a work injury. It may affect your treatment, your recovery and your future. We must remember that it is a human being that gets injured not a store dummy with just body damage. Additionally in some cases the fall or injury will impact the brain and cause organic damage. Legally we want the entire injury to be treated and assessed. This is permitted in an injury claim but sometimes you have to assert yourself. Tell the doctor what is bothering you and what you are concerned about. Being silent just keeps it hidden. You are allowed treatment and it can also increase the permanent disability you have unless you fully recover. This can mean additional financial and medical benefits. The Division of Workers Compensation has materials on this for you and your doctors. For example click here for some of what they teach physicians. Also click here for more on the mental side in Colorado.