Will Obesity Affect Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Are you suffering from obesity and have recently sustained a workplace injury?
If yes, you probably worry about obesity affecting your workers’ compensation claim. You wonder if the benefits could cover additional problems obesity may cause, like injury complications and slower recovery.
Thankfully, the law protects obese employees’ right to claim workers’ comp. However, the insurance provider may try to damage your claim by proving your obesity contributes to your injury.
You must thus understand how obesity could affect your workers’ comp claim so that you can prepare accordingly. Consulting a Burbank workers’ compensation attorney also optimizes the benefits you will receive.
How Obesity Affects Workplace Injuries
Primarily, obesity affects workplace injuries in the following ways:
1. Increases Injury Risks
Excessive weight causes additional body tension and movement difficulties. An obese worker thus has a higher risk of sustaining workplace injuries while performing regular activities.
For example, excessive weight and movement limitations increase the risks of slips and fall accidents that result in severe traumatic injuries.
Moreover, the additional tension strains certain body parts while performing some activities, making them prone to workplace overexertion or cumulative stress injuries.
An example is straining their back, neck, and shoulder muscles to reach an object on a shelf. They are likelier to injure those body parts, especially while frequently performing such workplace tasks.
2. Unique Treatment Requirement
Obese people may also require unique injury treatment, as doctors need to consider the excess weight.
For example, they may need to undergo weight loss surgery for the physician to address a particular injury efficiently. The doctor may also prohibit certain medications and require specific drugs to avoid health complications.
3. Slower Recovery
Obesity also slows down the recovery from injuries because of nutrient deficiency.
The injured area receives insufficient nutrients that can reduce inflammation and improve healing. As a result, an obese worker may have to stay longer in a health care facility and needs more days off from work.
How Obesity Affects Workers’ Comp Claim
You may generally claim workers’ compensation for any workplace injuries or ailments. However, obesity may damage your claim as the workers’ comp insurance provider will prove you deserve lesser benefits because:
- Your injury resulted from lifestyle strain and not from the workplace accident alone
- They cover only workplace injury treatment and not the complications because of your obesity
The good news is that as long as you got your injury while working, you may claim the benefits despite your obesity. Here are a few vital points to keep in mind:
- The insurance adjuster cannot deny your claim only because your obesity contributed to your injury. For example, they cannot reason you sustained an injury because obesity made you strain your body.
- The benefits should pay for all treatments you need to achieve full recovery. And it should include weight loss surgery if necessary.
- Slow recovery should not affect the time length for you to receive workers’ comp. For most workplace injuries in California, you should receive benefits for up to 104 weeks within five years. You may receive compensation for a longer time depending on your condition and ability to return to work.
Workers Compensation Lawyer in Burbank to Handle Claims of Employees with Obesity
The workers’ compensation system has simple general rules that entitle you to claim benefits for workplace injuries. However, certain health conditions make the process more challenging, especially since insurance providers try to damage your claim.
You should thus remember the points above when claiming workers’ comp if you have obesity. A Burbank workers’ compensation attorney will also help you get your deserved benefits despite your obesity.