So, you sustained an injury on the job. Now what?

Many people would say pick yourself up, dust yourself off and return to the office, even if you still experience lingering pain and discomfort. The Accident Help Zone, however, says that the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Not only will doing so help with your recovery but also, it could help your workers’ compensation claim. The publication explains what taking care of yourself looks like.

Follow doctor’s orders

It is not uncommon for individuals to feel A-OK to continue working following a workplace accident. These feelings of well-being may prompt them to return to work sooner than their bodies are ready — and jeopardize their workers’ comp claims in the process.

To ensure the best recovery on a physical and financial level, follow doctor’s orders, even if you feel they are over the top. Your doctor knows what you need to do to ensure a full and speedy recovery. By going against his or her orders, you can exacerbate your condition. If your condition worsens because you failed to follow doctor’s orders, you may no longer qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

Understand your rights

Too many injured workers attempt to hide their workplace injuries for fear they will lose their jobs. Others try to work through the pain to maintain the same level of productivity they showed pre-injury. Know that the workers’ comp system was designed to compensate injured workers during their recovery periods. The law entitles you to benefits. If you have doubts, or if your employer attempts to deny you benefits, work with a knowledgeable attorney.

Develop a plan B

Unfortunately, the nature and extent of your injury may mean that you will not be able to perform the duties of your job effectively for an indefinite period of time. If this is the case, discuss alternate arrangements with your employer. Your employer has a legal obligation to work within your limitations to a reasonable extent. However, you may need to prompt your employer to identify temporary positions while your injury heals.

Above all, stay positive. You may become discouraged or frustrated during your path to recovery, and you may experience challenges and setbacks along the way. However, an optimistic outlook can help you stay strong through the recovery process and get through this difficult time.

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