The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute recently released a new study highlighting certain predictors affecting whether and when injured workers return to work. The researchers conducted their study by taking thousands of phone surveys of workers who has received benefits in the last several years. The study looked at eight states, including Michigan.
According to the results of the research, trust in the workplace was one of the biggest factors in positive workers’ compensation outcomes. The fear of being fired resulted in an average of four more weeks of leave than workers who did not fear termination. Of those surveyed, 20 percent of workers who feared being fired had not yet returned to work. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of workers who did not fear firing were still on leave.
These studies were meant to help healthcare providers, payors and employers improve the handling of workers comp claims. While benefits are routinely paid to those injured on the job, workplace injuries often involve more complicated dynamics than just paying for some medical expenses and lost wages.
Politically, an injury may harm a worker’s stock at work. As the studies revealed, a significant portion of injured workers are afraid that their employer will use the incident as a justification for terminating their employment. Coupled with the stress of the injury itself, this scenario can be extremely challenging for a worker.
As a result, local Saginaw area attorneys have committed themselves to representing the interests of these victims. Local workers’ comp lawyers can represent an injured employee during the workers’ comp process and advise them on decisions otherwise affecting their employment.
There is no reason for an injured worker to go it alone. Experienced professionals are standing by to help guide them through the claim process.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Firing Fear Among New Predictors of Workers’ Comp Outcomes: WCRI,” June 19, 2014