It is important to ensure that as many details regarding your injuries are recorded in the work injury report, regardless of how minor they may seem at the time.
Picture this: you were carrying some work tools when you tripped and hurt your knee. You filed a report with your employer and went to the doctor to get checked for your knee injury. A few days later, you start noticing intense pain and discomfort in your arm. As it turns out, you used your arms to ease the impact of your fall. You had a tingly sensation in your shoulder, but ignored it and focused on the part that was clearly affected by the injury: your knee.
What can you do now?
The Human Body Is a Complex Mechanism
Everything in the human body is interconnected. A lower back injury can cause pain in your hips and legs as well. An injury in your left leg can affect your gait as well. This may cause you to move quicker than usual on your left foot, lurching frequently onto the right one. As a result, you may start noticing bursitis and pain in your right hip.
You may not feel any pain or discomfort at first, but you may start noticing the symptoms a few days later. That may be problematic if you neglected to include these pains in your work injury report.
Don’t Ignore Any Injury, No Matter How Small or Insignificant
One common mistake employees make when filing a work injury report is focusing on the big and evident pains and ignoring other parts of the body. However, if you want your workers’ compensation to account for all your medical expenses, then you need to include every bruise, pain, and swollen body part in the work injury report, no matter how small it may seem.
As you’ve seen, different parts of the body are connected in ways you wouldn’t expect and an injury to your left ankle can eventually cause pain in your right leg.
Of course, foreseeing how an injury may affect your body can be impossible for a person with no medical training. However, by describing the accident in detail and including every pain and bruise in the report, your doctor may make the connections and prescribe you the treatment that accounts for future conditions too.
What If I Left Something Out?
It can be difficult to persuade the insurance company to pay for an injury that wasn’t documented. A medical report can show that your condition is related to the work injury, but you should expect some push back from the insurance company.
If you’ve already agreed on a settlement and only now you start noticing new pains that you suspect may be related to your work injury, then you may be able to reopen your workers’ compensation case.
If you’ve signed a full and final release of all claims, then you have waived your right to reopen your case. That’s why you should always speak with an experineced St. Louis workers compensation attorney before you accept any type of settlement. In fact, it is a good idea to get in touch with them as soon as possible after you are injured.
A lawyer can help protect your legal right to compensation and help you ensure important details are not left out of your settlement agreement.
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