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Injured on the job? Don’t walk it off

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You fall from a ladder at work. It’s a simple accident, but you land on the hard concrete floor and you immediately feel your knee go sideways. A few other workers come running as soon as they hear you yell.

They help you sit up. Someone brings you a glass of water and some mild painkillers. You take them as you rest, looking at the fallen ladder and wondering how this could have happened. You thought the ladder was secure. Was it defective? Did you make a mistake? Is there some other factor you’re overlooking? It’s hard to know.

After about 10 minutes, you try standing up. Your knee hurts, but it will take your weight.

And now you have a choice to make. Do you just try to walk it off? Do you report the incident to your boss? Do you go to the hospital?

Get medical help

You may be tempted to walk it off. You don’t want to cause a scene if this isn’t a big deal. Maybe you want to show your coworkers that you’re tough and able to deal with it. Maybe leaving work to go to the doctor’s office seems like way too much of a hassle. It wasn’t a far fall. You’ll feel better eventually.

It’s understandable that you feel this way, but you should not walk it. Go get the medical help that you need. Have a doctor take a look at your leg to see how badly you injured yourself.

For one thing, you may only realize how bad it is a month later when it never heals. For another, if it is a serious injury, you want to get those medical records in place. You may need compensation and financial assistance, and those records help document what happened.

Long-term injuries

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s often hard to know how bad it really is. The pain doesn’t really kick in until the adrenaline wears off. You also have no way of knowing if it’s a long-term issue. Knee injuries often are, leading to:

  • A constant ache that never heals.
  • A dull discomfort that has a burning sensation.
  • Shooting pains when you use the joint; these can be very sharp and even excruciating.

You see it with sports injuries all the time: The athlete is never the same again. With a knee injury, you never know, and this could be the end of your career.

Moving forward

After you do get medical treatment, depending on the severity, you may need to learn what next steps to take to get the Social Security Disability assistance you deserve.