Quite often, work-related injuries are not noticed right away.
Some of the most common work injuries, like back injuries or repetitive strain injuries, can have delayed symptoms. This can prevent you from filing a workers’ compensation claim in time or seek immediate medical care.
Delays in collecting evidence and filing your claim can affect your workers’ compensation. That is why it’s important to identify the most common delayed symptoms of work-related injuries and investigate them as soon as you can.
Here is a list of the most common ones.
Back or Neck Pain
Spine and neck injuries can often manifest over a long period of time, starting out as a mild annoyance and degenerating into chronic pain or complications. Investigate pain in the area and keep a record of its evolution.
This is a general symptom and it can indicate a very wide array of injuries or conditions, from concussions to exposure to toxic gases. If you notice your headaches are getting frequent or that they only appear when you’re at the workplace, see your doctor.
Pain or swelling in the abdominal area needs to be investigated immediately, as it can be caused by internal bleeding, infection, soft tissue injuries and even life-threatening conditions like ruptured organs or perforation of the intestine.
If these symptoms appear all of a sudden, they might be caused by a potentially dangerous condition or injury. Report any of these signs to your doctor and investigate possible concussions, aneurysms, etc.
Injuries don’t only manifest through physiologic signs. Trauma can also cause emotional symptoms like depression, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Work exertion can lead to such manifestations, but head trauma could also be the cause of psychological symptoms. Report changes in your mood or behavior to your doctor, and keep a concise journal of their development.
These five symptoms are some of the most common ones, but you should watch out for others, too. Examples include: digestive issues, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, sleep difficulties, etc.
Will You Lose Your Workers’ Compensation Rights?
While receiving compensation will be a bit more challenging, experiencing delayed symptoms will not make you lose your rights. Once you do realize that your health might’ve been affected by a work-related injury, it’s important to report it as soon as possible.
The workers’ compensation system does accept exceptions to the normal statute of limitations. In Missouri, you have 30 days to report your injury to your employer and two years to file a formal claim. If the nature of your injury caused delayed symptoms, you can still file a claim and explain the special circumstances.
Let an experienced Missouri workers comp attorney represent you in such cases, as they have the knowledge and experience to navigate the claim process and get the compensation you need.
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