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Study: Claim-related stress may hinder recovery for injured workers

A recent study suggests navigating the workers' compensation system is so stressful that it can actually slow down the recovery process for people suffering from work-related injuries.

Stress linked to long-term complications

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2014, many injured workers experience high levels of stress while pursuing a workers' compensation claim - and those who do are more likely to experience long-term negative consequences from their injuries.

Specifically, study participants reported high levels of stress associated with these aspects of the workers' compensation system:

  • Understanding what was needed for a claim (34 percent).
  • Claim delays (30 percent).
  • Medical assessments (27 percent).
  • Amount of compensation (26 percent).

Six years after being injured, claimants who had experienced high levels of stress with their workers' compensation claims had significantly higher levels of disability, anxiety and depression than other claimants, the researchers found.

How a workers' compensation lawyer can help

While some amount of stress may be inevitable when dealing with an occupational injury or illness, getting help from a skilled workers' compensation lawyer can go a long way toward minimizing stress and uncertainty during the claims process, allowing clients to focus more fully on recovery.

An attorney with in-depth knowledge of the Connecticut workers' compensation system can help injured workers and their families by guiding them through the claims process step by step. For example, an attorney will help the client compile all necessary documentation of his or her injury and will see to it that all requirements and deadlines are met. In addition, a skilled workers' comp lawyer can be a powerful advocate on the client's behalf and will work hard to pursue maximum compensation for the client's medical care, lost wages and disability.

Connecticut workers' compensation basics

In 2013, Connecticut workers suffered more than 57,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, according to the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission.

Nearly all employers and workers in the state are covered by the Workers' Compensation Act, which provides that people who suffer work-related illnesses and injuries are entitled to monetary compensation for their lost income, medical care and disabilities.

These benefits are available on a no-fault basis, which means that injured workers are generally entitled to benefits regardless of who actually caused the accident. With certain exceptions, this is typically true even if the injury or illness resulted from the worker's own mistake.

It is not necessary to be a full-time or permanent employee in order to receive workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury or illness in Connecticut. In fact, with few exceptions, nearly all Connecticut workers are covered. For help pursuing a claim if you or a family member has been hurt on the job in Connecticut, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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