Life-altering injuries’ financial and non-financial costs affecting families
Life-altering severe worker injuries take a toll on injured workers and also have a heavy emotional and financial impact on families. Catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injury, brain injury, nerve damage and amputations may require medical care many years after injury, and returning to work at the same capacity or at all may no longer be possible. In addition to debilitating injuries, the fatal injury rate in the United States is about 3.5 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers.
Being injured at work can continue to impact employees financially for years to come. These cases also have an enormous psychological component, not just for the injured workers, but for their families.
Disabling worker injuries’ financial impact on families
We’ve all heard stories from people whose parent suffered an illness or injury during their childhood and the impact it had on their family. The ramifications on the families’ quality of life can be severe, whether the injured parent’s spouse had to take on a second job or reduce their hours to care for their partner, the family had to apply for food stamps to put food on the table, or the children had to forgo college to help support the family.
Many individuals suffering a severe worker injury go into debt, lose their homes and are unable to provide their family’s financial security. Medical expenses and lost wages can consume the workers’ savings. A study in 2005 found that compensation benefits replace only between 32% and 41% of 10-year pretax losses, and for many workers losses continued virtually unabated even at the end of a 10-year observation period.
The physical pain and emotional toll of your injury can have financial and non-financial costs; and, over your lifetime, these costs could become insurmountable.
Getting the compensation you deserve for trauma after an incident can be hard enough to deal with without the financial strain that comes from not being able to work. It is not unusual to go into debt and suffer prolonged financial strain if you fail to assert your legal rights effectively. If a party other than your employer caused or contributed to your injury, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against them to recover damages over and above your workers’ compensation benefits.
ARTICLE: What’s the difference between a workers’ comp and personal injury claim?
Injuries resulting in long-term or permanent inability to perform work are cases which may warrant a third-party liability claim to compensate for the devastating financial and emotional toll from a life-changing injury.
Injuries can affect workers not only physically, but psychologically
The psychological effects of a physical injury can manifest in anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other types of mental stress injuries. The worker may become withdrawn, be easily startled or have difficulty concentrating or completing simple tasks
Physical injuries very often have serious psychological ramifications, particularly for those who suffer worker injuries. Studies show that depression is more prevalent among those who sustain workplace injuries than those who sustain non-occupational injuries. The workers may also experience feelings of anger, anxiety, powerlessness, shame or guilt. Depression also hinders recovery and increases the odds of a worker not returning to pre-injury levels of function in areas such as activities of daily living, ability to concentrate and quality of social interactions.
Likewise a large number of injured workers develop opiate addictions that make them unable to return to work in a timely fashion, if at all.
Emotional distress compensation is not covered under most workers’ comp policies, but may be possible in an injury claim under pain and suffering recovery
Costs are borne by injured workers and their families
A variety of costs besides medical expenses and loss of earnings are borne by injured workers and their families. Some of these injuries also significantly change the family dynamic by reversing various roles. Caregivers may have to work reduced hours or quit their jobs to care for their injured loved one. Childcare that was provided by the injured worker or caregiving parent may now be required of a babysitter, and other household production functions such as daily chores and household repairs may need to be performed by a child or paid source.
Children tend to be hard hit by these types of injuries as they are forced to deal with the reality of a parent who has a medical condition that renders them unable to go to work. Vacations may no longer be an option, time spent together playing ball or going for a hike may evaporate. Both parents may be suffering from the strain and stress of their changed lifestyle
These hidden costs are difficult to quantify at the beginning of an injured worker’s recovery, but over a lifetime they can take a substantial financial and emotional toll on families.
Experienced personal injury attorneys who fight for your full injury recovery
Workplace injuries have a major physical, emotional, and financial impact on victims and their families. Workers’ compensation benefits only cover a portion of lost wages and medical expenses, and those who are injured often have great difficulty recovering the compensation they are entitled to.
The legal team at Trammell Piazza Law Firm understands what you are going through, and we are here to help you achieve the best lifestyle possible following a catastrophic worker injury. Our attorneys have over six decades of experience standing up for victims of occupational injuries in the Southeastern United States, and have achieved substantial recoveries for the victims of negligence in the workplace.
Workplace injury claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us until your settlement is won. Schedule a free consultation today to determine the best course of action in pursuing your claim.