Lifestyle Changes to Factor into Your Claim
After a workplace injury, your first thoughts are likely centered on your most urgent needs: emergency care, missed time off work and immediate challenges, like how you’ll get your kids to school the next day.
Afterwards, your schedule may fill with follow-ups, imaging, appointments with specialists and physical therapy as you also initiate your workers’ comp claim. But other issues, expenses and unexpected challenges will likely continue to crop up after your medical care is well underway. Before you accept a settlement that fails to take these costs into account, it’s important to discuss your possible lifestyle changes with a workers’ comp attorney.
You may start physical therapy early in your recovery journey, working to regain use and range of motion. But occupational therapy will likely factor in as you prepare to return to work. An occupational therapist may review the physical demands of your jobs, calculate how those movements put you at risk for injury and determine alternatives that keep you safe. A return-to-work consultation may loop in your supervisor, while job coaching helps establish a graded approach to your transition back.
After your doctor has determined that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you may need to work with a vocational specialist to talk over your next career steps. For some, this means working with your current employer to find a new, better-fitting position or a schedule that takes your new limitations into account. For others, your injury may require a bigger change, and a vocational specialist can help evaluate your skills, polish your resume and help you find a new job.
If your injury makes it hard to perform everyday tasks, you may need an attendant to assist around the home. An attendant might help you bathe, cook, clean or do laundry. Sometimes, you’ll only need an attendant for a short term while you learn new ways of accomplishing everyday chores. In other cases, you’ll need long-term help. Workers’ comp in Georgia will cover such care provided that your doctor determines it is medically necessary. Even if a family member or spouse provides this care, it’s still possible to receive workers’ compensation to help offset their absence from the workforce.
If your injury results in permanent physical limitations, you may have to make changes to your home. Sometimes this is a single change, like adding a metal ramp up your front steps. In other cases, though, your home may require serious changes, like an accessible shower, widened doorways or a stair lift. Workers with homes that can’t be easily modified may even need to relocate to so-called suitable housing. Understandably, this is a complex area. If you settle your case’s suitable housing agreement and later find you cannot live in your home comfortably, you’ll have few options for compensation going forward.
After a complex workplace injury, it’s important to plan ahead for all of the expenses you might incur as you adjust to your new lifestyle. By working with an experienced Atlanta workers’ comp attorney, you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, your care needs may continue long beyond the initial phase of your treatment. Your long-term expenses may even exceed your expectations, making it critical that you speak to an attorney who understands the Georgia workers’ comp system. Contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera today for a free consultation, or give us a call at 404-991-5097.
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