Workers hurt on the job are likely covered by their employer's workers' compensation insurance. This form of benefit covers medical expenses, partial wages, and sometimes, a lump-sum payment for permanent injuries. Unfortunately, things can go wrong with a worker's claim and that can result in workers being out of work, in pain, and without any coverage. Read on to find out why keeping up with the claim and the medical aspect of your worker's compensation issues are so important.
What is a Pain Journal?
Just like it sounds, this is just a simple method of keeping track of your workers' comp case. Use anything from a nicely bound version to a plain spiral-bound notebook for recording information. This journal should be thought of as both a therapeutic tool and a practical helper.
What to Put in Your Pain Journal
First and foremost, a journal is a way to record your day-to-day life issues that would not be occurring if you hadn't been hurt at work. That means you should use your journal every day and record your thoughts about how the work-related injury or illness is negatively affecting your life. For example, you might note that your pain was so bad today that you had to take some pain medication and lie down instead of spending time with your grandchild. You would note how sad and frustrated you are with being hurt and missing out on the good things in life. That, however, is just the beginning of what to use your pain journal for. Also, make note of these issues:
- Doctor's appointments and what happened during the appointment.
- The results of diagnostic tests.
- Conversations with your employer or the workers' compensation insurer.
- Medications prescribed and the side-effects for you.
- Dates and reminders about meetings, appointments, deadlines, etc.
How Journals Are Helpful
If the therapeutic benefit of pain journals are not enough, consider what might happen should your claim be disputed or denied. You will be glad you have your information and notes all in one convenient place when you must go through the appeals process or hire a workers' compensation lawyer for support. You might, for example, need reminders about what you've been through so that your workers' compensation lawyer can better negotiate for a lump-sum settlement. Also, you may need to recall facts about medical treatments and more if you go through the appeals process that includes a deposition or mediation.
To get more information on workers' comp claims and using a pain journal, speak to work injury lawyers near you.