Workers who suffer on-the-job injury may have more to worry about than just physical recovery or medical bills. According to recent reports published by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims are often concerned about retaliation or job loss following the injury. Furthermore, individuals who have some security in their employment may fare better in their recovery. Research indicates that those who feel that they have job security after an injury have shorter periods of disability than those who fear they may be fired.
These studies show both the emotional and psychological damage of a work-related injury and also the reality that some employees may hesitate to file a claim because of job security issues. Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured on the job. In addition to raising awareness to secure workers’ rights, we are also staunch advocates for clients seeking to recover workers’ compensation benefits or third-party damages.
WCRI is a Cambridge, Massachusetts based non-profit that studies work-related injuries and compensation benefits distribution. The study involved interviewing 3,200 workers who were injured throughout the nation, including those working and injured in North Carolina. According to the research 47% of injured works in North Carolina said that they were concerned that they would be fired or laid off while recovering from a work-related injury. This was the highest percentage of concern among sample worker interviews from around the states. Reports did not indicate what factors in North Carolina may have spiked worker concern, but it may suggest patterns of termination in certain industries after filing a workers’ compensation claim.
According to the research, employees who were worried about termination or job loss after a work-related injury experienced a 4-week increase in the duration of disability. This was in comparison to workers who did not have concerns about termination after suffering from an injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. Researchers point to a general lack of trust in job security after a work accident. This feeling of insecurity stems from dissatisfaction with workers’ compensation medical care and a distrust in the system. The researchers were able to directly correlate the trend of concern over job loss with the issues workers had in getting the services they need.
The WCRI reported in the North Carolina report that workers concerned about being fired also had issues getting the services they desired or needed. Twenty percent of respondents reported that they had struggled getting services, of those who were already concerned about job loss. The research institute compared this to data from other workers and found it double the normal rate of 9% among workers who were not concerned about losing their jobs after an injury. If you or someone you love was injured in a work-related accident, remember that you do have rights. Workers’ compensation benefits are your right to cover medical expenses and lost wages. You may also be entitled to additional damages for third-party negligence.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Top Risks for South Carolina Construction Workers This Summer, May 18, 2014, Greensboro Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog
Burley v. U.S. Foods – The Commission Isn’t Always Right, June 14, 2014, Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog