Do you have a tendency to minimize your complaints when you’re sick or injured?
If so, you’re hardly alone. A lot of people shrug off their pain because they don’t want to appear weak or sound like they can’t do anything but complain. Everybody has problems, right? Plus, if you’re injured on the job, you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to get out of work for no good reason.
Well, unfortunately, not complaining enough about your injuries or illness can actually backfire badly if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or have to fight for the benefits you are due. If you don’t complain, your medical records may not have enough information to support your claim — or approve it.
For the purposes of workers’ comp, it pays to be a complainer. If you report every single bump, bruise, strained muscle and swollen joint — no matter how minor — you can create a medical record that draws a clear connection between your job and your injuries. If you fail to mention something after an accident at work because you don’t want to complain “too much,” your reticence can really come back to haunt you.
For example, imagine that you trip over an unsecured power cord while working on a warehouse floor. You fall face-forward, landing on one knee and your hands. Your knee takes the brunt of the fall and is bleeding, so you dutifully report the injury to your supervisor. You don’t, however, mention the throbbing pain in your wrists after the fall or the ache in your shoulder. Later, your knee heals up nicely — but you’re still dealing with shoulder pain two months later and now you have numbness in both hands to boot!
It might be hard to convince an insurance company that your shoulder pain and the numbness in your hands have anything to do with the fall you took if your medical records don’t mention any injuries to your hands at the time.
Do yourself a favor if you’re injured at work — don’t hold back on your complaints. It may be important later.
If you’re having trouble obtaining the financial and medical benefits you are due from workers’ compensation, our firm may be able to assist you. Please contact us for more information.