If you’ve recently been injured due to work-related circumstances, you may be hesitant to seek medical treatment. You may be concerned about medical bills or about admitting to your employer that you’re hurt. These are valid concerns. Yet, it’s important to understand that if you don’t seek necessary medical attention, you could suffer complications, weaken any claim for compensation you may choose to make and risk your ability to remain working for years to come.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that you’re likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that will cover the cost of your treatment and that your employer is legally prohibited from retaliating against you for pursuing these benefits. Although seeking medical treatment after sustaining work-related harm can be an intimidating task, it’s important to do it anyway.
You’re not alone in your reluctance
According to a recent study published by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, workers in some states visit the emergency room to receive treatment for work-related injuries far less often than workers in other states do. For example, while 37 percent of workers in Massachusetts who filed workers’ compensation claims for work-related harm between 2019-2021 sought initial treatment for their injuries in an emergency department, only 14 percent of workers’ comp filers in California sought emergency medical treatment for their injuries during the same time period.
This study suggests that if you’re hesitant to go to the emergency room following a work-related injury, you’re not alone. Many other injured workers struggle with this same issue. Yet, seeking treatment at an emergency facility and later filing a workers’ compensation claim to cover the costs are not actions that your employer can hold against you.
Seeking the treatment that you need right away can even strengthen your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, as this effort may underscore the seriousness of the harm you’ve suffered.