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7 Hidden Costs of a Workplace Injury (and How a Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation)

Workplace injuries can have a profound impact on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. The injured worker’s losses often extend far beyond the immediate costs of treatment and lost wages.  The hidden impact of a work-related accident can last a lifetime, jeopardizing your financial stability and overall well-being. Knowing the hidden costs of a workplace injury and understanding how a lawyer can help you recover compensation is crucial for injured employees and their families.

What Are the Hidden Costs Associated With Workplace Injuries? 

This article explores seven hidden costs of a workplace injury and explains how a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover full compensation after an accident. 

Reduced Earning Capacity

Workplace injuries can have a long-term impact on your earning potential. Missed work due to doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and recovery from surgery can significantly impact your income in the short term, but severe injuries and permanent disabilities may require you to switch careers, accept lower-paying positions that accommodate your limitations, or avoid returning to work at all. 

How a lawyer can help: A work injury lawyer will document the full extent of your earning capacity before the injury. Your attorney can fight to ensure your workers’ compensation benefits account for your current lost wages and any future earning potential that you lost due to your injury.

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Increased Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Medical bills are just one aspect of the financial burden caused by a workplace accident. You may face additional costs for transportation to doctor appointments, special medical equipment, in-home care, medications, and home and/or vehicle modifications to accommodate your injury. These long-term costs may not be fully covered by workers’ compensation, leaving you with significant out-of-pocket expenses.

How a Lawyer Can Help: A workplace injury lawyer will analyze the full scope of your medical needs and ensure all necessary medical expenses related to your injury are covered by workers’ compensation. Your attorney will also fight for future medical needs to be included in your settlement.

Reduced Productivity and Household Disruption

Recovery from an injury often leads to reduced productivity at home. Chores, errands, and childcare may become more challenging or impossible. You might need to hire help or rely on family, likely creating tension and disruption in your household routine. While workers’ compensation doesn’t directly address these issues, a lawyer can help maximize your overall compensation to offset these burdens.

How a Lawyer Can Help: A workers’ comp lawyer will explore all avenues for maximizing your compensation to account for the impact your injuries have on your daily life. This might include filing a third-party personal injury claim or a lawsuit against a product or equipment manufacturer. Your lawyer will also help you navigate options for disability benefits or other resources.

Impact on Daily Life and Activities

A workplace injury can drastically affect your daily life, limiting your ability to participate in hobbies, care for your family, or enjoy activities with your family and friends. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and dependence on others.

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How a Lawyer Can Help: A lawyer can explore compensation for the impact the injury has on your ability to participate in daily activities. While workers’ comp benefits won’t compensate you for pain and suffering damages, other types of injury claims filed against third parties might. 

Emotional and Mental Health Costs

The stress and anxiety of dealing with a workplace injury can take a significant toll on your mental health. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common after a serious workplace accident. These conditions can affect your work performance, relationships, and overall well-being. 

How a Lawyer Can Help: Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to cover mental health treatment related to your injury. An experienced lawyer will present evidence linking your mental health struggles to the accident to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation.

Impact on Retirement Savings

Without a fair work injury settlement, you may be forced to dig into your savings to help cover your living expenses while you recover. Additionally, missed work and reduced earning potential can significantly impact your ability to contribute to retirement savings. This can leave you financially vulnerable later in life. 

How a Lawyer Can Help: A lawyer can help secure a settlement that considers the long-term financial implications of your injury and ensures your future financial security.

Impact on Credit Score and Financial Security

Medical bills, lost wages, and unexpected expenses can wreak havoc on your finances. This can lead to missed credit card and/or loan payments and ultimately damage your credit score. A low credit score can impact your ability to secure loans, rent an apartment, or even obtain car insurance.

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How a Lawyer Can Help: Maximizing your workers’ compensation recovery can help alleviate the financial burden and protect your credit score. A lawyer can also connect you with resources to manage your finances during your recovery.

Legal Fees and Litigation Costs

While workers’ compensation is intended to be a streamlined process, navigating the system and maximizing your benefits can be challenging. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected, and your claim is handled effectively. However, upfront legal fees can be a concern.

How a Lawyer Can Help: Most workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they win your case. The lawyer’s fee is typically a percentage of the recovered compensation, ensuring you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket upfront. 

A lawyer can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the workers’ compensation process. Attorneys can manage communication with the insurance company, handle complex legal issues, and advocate for your best interests during negotiations or hearings. This allows you to focus on your recovery and well-being during this stressful time.

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