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Doctor: Here’s why some injured workers don’t claim workers’ comp

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A recent article by a family physician details issues he sees frequently with workers who come to his clinic with injuries they have sustained on the job. The doctor cited the case of a construction worker who had a concrete slab fall on his back and neck.

Though his injuries turned out to be fairly routine, the paperwork filed with the clinic was not: it contained no forms for workers’ compensation.

When the doctor asked a nurse to explain why the workers’ comp forms weren’t there, she said it was because the construction firm the man works for does not have the insurance that is required by law. So the man was left to his own devices to pay for the treatment for his injuries.

In this particular case, the injuries were minor and the costs were relatively low. But in many other cases, the injured worker is on his own though the physical damage is extensive and the bills will be enormous.

In other situations involving worksite injuries, workers don’t want to report the damage done on-the-job because they fear losing their jobs. Employers will, in too many cases, simply fire an employee who reports an injury or files for workers’ comp, even though it is illegal to do so.

According to the doctor, workers who are undocumented immigrants often fear reporting injuries because they don’t want to be taken into custody by immigration officials. They fear deportation more than they dread the pain of having to pay for expensive work-related injuries.

If you have been improperly denied workers’ compensation benefits, you can speak to a Charlotte attorney experienced in fighting for your rights and deserved compensation.