New study shows relationship between stress and recovery

How stress from claiming workers compensation can lead to a worse recovery and what you can do to combat this problem.

We have a favorite quote from George Carlin: “If you have a legal problem, guess how you determine whether or not you need a lawyer. You see a lawyer. Isn’t that weird?”

Carlin is making an astute observation about the legal system and we think it fits perfectly with the following news item. Here is some information about claim stress and recovery.

Reuters Health reports on an Australian study that found claim stress leads to poorer outcomes for people on workers compensation. Confusion about the process, needing to hire a lawyer, delays and related medical assessments were all factors. Those who were most stressed by filing a claim tended to have higher levels of disability years later.

The study suggests redesigning the process to reduce stressfulness may actually improve recovery and save money. This is an idea we have suggested for a long time on our blog. Insurance companies and employers can actually save money by treating people better.

Five tips to reduce stress and get a better result

1. Hire an experienced workers compensation lawyer to monitor your claim. This can be done without the insurance company knowing and for no cost. Find out about your legal rights and how to avoid common mistakes. You might be entitled to benefits that you don’t even know about. For example, family members can be paid up to 56 hours per week to help you with activities of daily living. This can make a real difference in your recovery.

2. Tune out the noise from friends and family members. Every claim is different and must be evaluated on its own merits. Getting bad advice is worse than no advice. Don’t be pressured to file a lawsuit without knowing the pros and cons.

3. Get away from insurance company doctors. Michigan law lets you choose your own physician after 28 days. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to end your claim prematurely. All reasonable and necessary medical should be paid. You need a doctor who will be an advocate for your best interests.

4. Educate yourself about the process. There are many resources a person can use to find out about workers compensation. Our website provides extensive information including what you can expect through a typical litigated case. Knowledge is power!

5. Make a plan for the future. A settlement allows you the freedom to do your own medical and vocational rehabilitation. Some people want to find a new job while others start their own business. Social Security Disability is also an option for people who are permanently disabled.

To speak with our workers compensation lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless you are successful with your case.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Workers Comp 101: Know what to expect when your case is filed

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by bottled_void.

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