You can’t really prepare for an unexpected work injury, and it’s not unusual for families to be thrown into a world of physical, emotional, and financial chaos after finding out that a loved one has been seriously hurt. Because these kinds of injuries can change lives forever, injured workers and their families find themselves suddenly needing to prepare for long-term difficulties.
Preparing for Long-Term Hardships After a Work-Related Injury
- Changes in income and expenses: Facing the reality that you cannot return to the same type of work or a high-paying position is difficult, especially if you are still receiving medical care. Short-term injuries are already expensive, but serious, long-term injuries can quickly drain any family’s emergency funds.
- Changes in your ability to work: Sometimes, injured workers are unable to return to work at all or will need training and education to move on to a position suited to their post-injury needs.
- Changes in your ability to engage in daily activities: Beyond losing the ability to work or provide for their families in the same way, seriously injured workers also must adjust to changes in how they engage in their personal lives, interact with their families, or pursue hobbies and personal goals.
- The emotional and psychological impact of change: Physical and financial changes are often the most obvious and pressing, but the “invisible” emotional injuries after a serious accident often go ignored. The trauma of the accident, the stress of the aftermath, and the many long-term adjustments injured workers face can take a serious psychological toll, resulting in depression, anxiety, and other difficulties.
Coping With the Changes
How do families cope with all of these major and unexpected changes? Usually, families must cope by rapidly getting educated about their rights and taking it one step at a time. Medical attention should be a priority, both initially and in follow up, and injured workers should follow their doctors’ orders carefully in order to recover as fully as possible. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, reach out to your doctor or a counselor. And, to make sure you receive the past, present, and future compensation needed for your injury, don’t be afraid to reach out for help in handling your injury claim.
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