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Can filing a work-injury claim hurt your chances for recovery?

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms something that previous research studies have concluded. Namely, the study confirms that when individuals suffer work-related injuries and file injury compensation claims, these individuals tend to experience more negative impacts on their long-term recovery than those who do not file such claims.

There are a number of reasons why poorer long-term recovery is linked to filing injury claims. Some of these reasons may include more significant injuries tied to claims than minor injuries not tied to compensation claims. However, the primary reason that the JAMA study links poor long-term recovery to filing compensation claims is the stress associated with filing these claims.

In particular, the JAMA study concludes that more than one-third of workers who file work-injury compensation claims experience high stress levels tied to challenges they have understanding the claims process, nearly one-third experience high stress levels due to delays with their claims and over one-quarter report high stress levels associated with medical assessment issues.

When workers experience high levels of stress, it becomes more difficult for them to heal fully and to rest adequately. This study’s conclusions firmly suggest that keeping one’s stress levels low is imperative when seeking compensation via a work-injury claim. Failure to moderate your stress can lead to a poor long-term outcome.

Working with an attorney experienced in work-related injury and associated claims processes may help you decrease your stress level. Allowing someone else to take primary responsibility for navigating the process will allow you more time to heal and rest properly.

Source: JAMA Psychiatry, "Relationship Between Stressfulness of Claiming for Injury Compensation and Long-term Recovery," Genevieve M. Grant, et. al, Feb. 12, 2014

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