A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan shows that while nearly six in ten hospitalized workers return to their jobs, they continue to struggle financially and physically. According to a report on HealthDay News, investigators looked at federal survey data from trauma patients who were hospitalized with injuries between 2008 and 2017. The patients were surveyed for this study about seven weeks after leaving the hospital.
What the Study Shows
While nearly 60% of these patients said they went back to work, more than half were saddled with medical debt and close to 25% went without much-needed additional care because they simply couldn't afford it.
The results of the survey, which were published online in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, showed that injured workers were also more likely than their colleagues to experience food insecurity, physical disability and challenges affording and accessing health care.
This study is important because it helps us understand a patient's life after he or she leaves the hospital. While returning to work can be an important indicator that injured people are ready to resume their normal life, this is the first study to look at the challenges injured workers face after they've left the hospital.
Spotlight on Injured Worker Challenges
This study is enlightening because it shows that the challenges surrounding a work-related injury do not go away when the worker leaves the hospital. Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries suffered, workers have ongoing needs. For example, if a worker has suffered multiple broken bones on the job, he or she is going to need ongoing physical therapy or rehabilitation to help restore strength, flexibility and mobility to the affected areas of the body.
However, rehabilitation costs can add up very quickly. And to make matters worse, a lot of these types of expenses are not covered fully by health insurance. This means that in order to have a shot at complete recovery, workers must pay their therapy bills out of pocket. This is also true in cases where workers may need specific medication or medical equipment after they leave the hospital and are approved to return to work. Again, they may have to pay for these necessities out of pocket, which adds to the financial stress.
It is also a fact that many injured workers feel the pressure to return to work because their expenses are piling up and they need their source of income to pay the bills. So, not only are they facing physical and financial struggles, but also emotional and psychological issues that could lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety.
How We Help Injured Workers
If you find yourself buried under medical expenses and feel helpless in the face of these struggles, it is important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer who can evaluate your situation and your case and see if you may be able to tap into other avenues of compensation.
For example, if your injuries were caused by a party other than your employer, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against them. In this manner, you may be able to recover compensation that you may not be able to get from a workers' comp claim such as lost future income, compensation for rehabilitative therapy, cost of continuing care, pain and suffering, etc.
At Greenberg & Ruby LLP, we have a long and successful track record of helping injured workers obtain maximum compensation for their tremendous losses. Call us to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today. We'll answer your questions and do our best to help you feel more at ease about your situation.