Worker's Compensation is designed to help an injured worker regain their health so they can return to the workplace. For many years, the course of action was to treat the injury in a timely fashion and get the employee back on the job as soon as possible. While this was the desired outcome, it was often hampered by what is now referred to as psychosocial barriers. Instead of the physical injury keeping the employee out of the workplace, it is often times their psychological recovery that takes the longest.
Circumstances Beyond Their Control
Despite sufficient medical care, there may be circumstances beyond their control that prohibit the person from healing as they should. Genetic abnormalities or chronic illnesses that hinder the healing process are common factors.
Mental and Emotional Behaviors
The anxiety and stress of being financially strapped may also have a detrimental role on how the person heals and the risks they may sometimes take to prove they are ready to return to work. Anger and depression can cause them to shut down and lose sight of their goal of returning to work.
Personal Assumptions and Expectations
The person's personal expectation of how quickly they should heal and the assumption that they are regaining their strength much faster than expected can cause them to re-injure themselves by trying to perform work-related tasks before they're ready.
Work injury attorneys are now looking at the effects of psychosocial behaviors and the impact they may have on worker's compensation cases. They now believe that addressing these factors is just as important as treating the actual injury, and with the adequate treatment, they will hasten the overall healing process. Treating the whole person helps to reduce the risk of aggravating the old injury or causing a new one to occur.