THE INJURED WORKER
Injured workers are at the heart of workers' compensation. After all, the system was originally designed to protect their rights when an accident occurs in the course of employment. It would be helpful if all parties in the system, including injured employees themselves, could understand their point of view. This chapter will examine the position of the worker in the system.
Chapter 3 discussed the lack of control workers' compensation patients have over their own futures. When injured workers are taken off work, the system literally takes away some of their basic rights to do what they choose and to support themselves. It is not surprising, then, that their lives begin to revolve around their injuries. In addition, in order to continue to receive benefits, they must continue to be injured. While the purpose of the temporary wage loss benefits is restitution for the workers' inability to support themselves during recovery, the disability begins to be their means of supporting their families. Since they must continue to be injured, they must act that way.