If you slip at work at break your leg, the pain you feel is acute and directly related to your accident and injury. It should not be difficult to draw workers’ compensation benefits based on the circumstances of your injury.
But suppose you work in a warehouse stocking shelves. You bend over and lift items out of crates and boxes. You climb up and down ladders all day long. For the past few months, you have been experiencing chronic pain in your back and down into your left leg even though you never fell or had an obvious injury.
Could your chronic pain be related to your job?
It certainly could be. But proving that to your employer to access benefits might be a bit of a challenge. Companies tend to deny the more nebulous claims for workers’ compensation because they often can.
If you think that your chronic pain is linked to your job duties, you will have to establish that connection. Because pain is quite subjective, you will want to be very descriptive about the sensation you feel. Words like “burning, stabbing, radiating” will give your doctor a good idea of what you are feeling.
You also need to make sure that your doctor connects your pain to your job. Let your doctor know what type of work you do and how you suspect that your pain is related. If your doctor agrees, that may support your claim for benefits.
Don’t minimize your pain
If you suffer chronic pain during most or all of your waking hours, tell that to your doctor. If it worsens when you bend over or climb ladders, make sure that is noted as well. Remember that doctors are not mind-readers and go by what you tell them. If the nurse or doctor walks in saying, “Mr. So-and-So, how are you doing today?” never say that you are “fine” when you are in actual pain.
Seeking guidance a good idea for these claims
If your workers’ comp case is a complicated one, seeking the counsel of an attorney well-versed in those types of cases is always prudent.