The Impacts of a Work Injury

It’s tough!

Suffering an injury at work can have a significant effect on a person’s life, health, relationships and finances etc. There are a number of repercussions after suffering an injury and these may include:

  • Physical health issues;
  • Mental health issues;
  • Inability to return to work or changed capacity to work;
  • Financial stress;
  • Relationship strains;
  • Worry of what others think and say, especially at work.

Physical health issues

Some injuries take a long time to heal and just continuing to carry out normal everyday tasks can be challenging. Not everyone has a good support network of family and friends who are able to help and the severity of the injury will dictate the level of self-sufficiency. This is especially difficult for those who previously led an active life.

An injured person may not be able to play with their children, or carry out their usual social and recreational activities (such as bike riding with friends).

Inability to undertake everyday tasks is frustrating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Mental health issues

Stress, shock, frustration, worry and anxiety can lead to mental health conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or it can aggravate a previous mental health condition.

It is absolutely imperative that the necessary treatment is sought as early as possible. An injured person may require counseling and the use of cognitive behavioural therapy may be of great help.

It can be difficult for people to ask for help for a mental illness.  It is very common for someone who has been injured to at least require adjustment to injury counselling.

Inability to return to work

An injury may mean you need time off work for a while until it has fully healed. A severe injury may mean that you will never being able to return to work. Unfortunately some injuries can be extremely debilitating and result in a permanent impairment. In some cases an injured person may have to think about re-training to an alternative career, if possible.

Financial stress and making a claim for compensation

If you are off work you may be entitled to receive Workers Compensation. The Workers Compensation Insurer pays you your wages while you are off work and covers your medical expenses. If you have suffered a permanent injury you may also be entitled to a lump sum payment. If there has been negligence you may also be entitled to make a common law claim (or negligence claim). In Qld, the workers compensation insurer may assess your injury and issue you with a Notice of Assessment (NOA) this includes an assessment of the percentage of permanent impairment which is assessed by their doctor. If you haven’t already sought legal advice, this is the time as by responding to this document, you may lose your rights to future compensation such as a common law claim.

Worry of what others think and say

It is important to remember that workers compensation is your legal right.  Employers pay workers compensation insurance premiums to cover these claims.  The workers compensation system is there to support you and compensate your for losses, expenses and pain and suffering.

 

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