Sometimes, even minor events can cause huge problems. North Carolina workers often fail to report workers’ compensation claims because they initially think they were not seriously injured, or they hope their pain would improve over time. Here are the top five work-related medical conditions with delayed symptoms:
1. Back Pain
Many workers injured at work while lifting, bending, or stooping believe their pain is temporary, when it is actually a herniated disc or pinched nerve or other serious condition. Spinal injuries can be devastating, because severe damage can lead to paralysis. While some back injuries are treatable, others can cripple or greatly reduce mobility. It is important for workers experiencing back pain after a strain or accident at work to report it to a supervisor, file a Form 18 Report of Injury, and seek immediate medical treatment to rule out a serious condition such as nerve damage.
2. Stomach Pain
Stomach pain, especially in workers required to do heavy lifting, often is a sign of a hernia or serious internal condition. Pain in the abdomen also may signal internal organ damage or internal bleeding, especially in the case of motor vehicle accidents with the use of a seat belt. Many of these conditions require immediate medical treatment.
3. Shoulder, Knee, and Elbow Pain
The tendons in the shoulder, knee, and elbow are particularly susceptible to tearing or rupturing due to overuse or strain. Many North Carolina workers begin to develop soreness or burning in joints but do not file a workers’ compensation claim until the pain worsens and causes the inability to lift or move. Ricci Law Firm represents workers with delayed joint pain.
4. Fatigue / Sleeping Difficulties
Following an accident or trauma at work, emotional symptoms can be subtle. Some workers are so concerned with tending to their physical injuries after a trauma that they do not seek treatment for their emotional injuries. Psychological symptoms such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include concentration problems, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, fatigue, lack of motivation, panic attacks, lack of interest in activities, and memory loss. Those symptoms can take weeks to manifest and often are overlooked.
Many victims of workplace accidents develop headaches, which may be the sign of a concussion, blood clot, or whiplash. When a worker’s head is whipped around or strikes a hard surface, the incident can cause swelling, bleeding, bruising, and other damage to the brain tissue. Most concussions do not involve loss of consciousness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Effects of a concussion can include headaches, memory and concentration problems, fatigue, nausea, slurred speech, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
What to Do
It is important to take the right steps if you are involved in an accident with delayed symptoms. First, do not ignore your symptoms! Report the accident to your employer as a workers’ compensation claim and seek medical treatment. Next, contact a workers’ compensation attorney at Ricci Law Firm before speaking to any insurance adjuster about your claim; your rights to medical and disability compensation may be compromised if you do not receive proper legal guidance. Finally, do not consider accepting any money or signing any releases until your attorney reviews your case.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Ricci Law Firm regularly represent North Carolina workers. If you or a loved one developed delayed symptoms due to a work injury or overuse, it may not be too late to get the treatment you need. Contact one of our specialist attorneys to discuss your situation.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer serving Greenville and Raleigh
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Greenville and Raleigh. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at (252) 777-2222 or 800-387-6406 for free, friendly advice.
I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Founder of the leading personal injury website: http://www.riccilawnc.com/personal-injury/