More than 10 percent of medical benefit costs for workplace injuries that occur this year can span for more than two decades, according to a report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance.
“A serious workplace injury can have a serious financial impact on an injured person for decades,” says Shehzad Ahmad, lead attorney for California Law Associates. “Too often, too many people only think about the short-term costs associated with a workplace injury – emergency medical care, short-term physical therapy. What they don’t realize is certain: Serious workplace injuries can change someone’s life forever in an instant. They might require medical care for the rest of their lives, and people need to keep that in mind when dealing with the injured person’s employer and insurance company.”
The report further says the percentage of medical benefit costs for services beyond 20 years from now is growing, and that is not expected to stop. Although male respondents made up less than 60 percent of the work force during the time of their injuries, they represented 75 percent of the costs of late-term care. Less than 40 percent of respondents are late-term claimants under the age of 60; however, they incur roughly half of the cost of late-term care.
In 20 to 30 years following a workplace injury, drugs, home health services, orthotic devices and supplies make up most of the costs associated with workplace, the report finds.
“There’s no timetable when it comes to when someone stops suffering from a workplace injury,” Ahmad says. “A back injury or construction accident injury can literally cause pain and suffering for the rest of someone’s life. That’s why we fight so vigorously for the rights of injured workers. We understand that the compensation we secure for them today might be necessary 20 or even 30 years from now. We take a long-term approach to California workplace injuries. We’re in this for the long haul.”