Pain Awareness Month a good time to discuss workers’ compensation

When New Yorkers think of September, they probably think of cooling temperatures, students returning to school and the end of summer, but September is also Pain Awareness Month. With that in mind, let’s consider a problem that many New Yorkers who were injured on the job have to confront on a daily basis: chronic pain.

It is estimated that more than 100 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, and chronic pain is reportedly the leading cause of lost work time and long-term disability. A report from 2011 estimates that chronic pain costs the country about $635 billion, in terms of medical expenses and lost productivity.

But unfortunately injured workers often have to fight through spools of administrative red tape to get the workers’ compensation they need and deserve. In other cases, a third-party is responsible for a work-related injury, and the injured worker has to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

In other words, the actual pain of chronic pain isn’t the only obstacle injured employees have to overcome. In addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, stress and anxiety can exacerbate a person’s injury or illness.

To ease the burden on themselves and their families, people who have been injured on the job often find it helpful to have a legal advocate on their side. When it seems that insurance companies and workers’ comp administrators are more concerned with cutting costs than helping patients get better, it can be comforting to know that a legal professional is working in your favor.

Source: Huffington Post, “Injured and Hurting: Time to Fix How We Treat Pain on the Job,” Peter Abaci, Sept. 4, 2013

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