If you sustain an injury at work, you should obtain medical care as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, if you are like many Americans, you may despise going to the doctor. You simply cannot leave your health to chance, though.
Some occupational illnesses and injuries require emergency medical treatment. If you do not see a physician for these, symptoms are likely to worsen quickly. Still, even with less acute workplace injuries, putting off medical care is a bad idea for at least three reasons.
1. Additional injuries may appear
If you have an untreated injury, you may move differently or otherwise compensate for it physically. When doing so, you may sustain additional injuries. For example, if you shift your weight or change the way you walk to mitigate back pain, you may develop a subsequent knee or hip injury.
2. Recovery times may lengthen
Even under ideal circumstances, recovering from a work-related injury may take a substantial amount of time. This is especially true if the injury requires surgery or another major medical procedure. For many injuries, the longer you wait to start treatment, the longer your recovery time is likely to be.
3. Workers’ compensation benefits may be in jeopardy
Waiting to seek medical care after sustaining an on-the-job injury may also complicate your workers’ compensation benefits for a couple reasons. First, delayed treatment may make it more difficult to prove your injury relates to your job and to collect relevant evidence.
More significantly, though, delaying medical treatment may also delay the benefits you ultimately receive. If you are struggling financially, obtaining prompt medical care may help to get the ball rolling on your workers’ compensation claim.