Compensation Has Risks

If you are interested in helping yourself it is good to know what will bring you the biggest results for your efforts.

For example if you want to live longer, then statistically you are better off to stop smoking rather than lose weight or exercise. Of course if you don’t currently smoke then you can get started on the other two.

If you want to recover from an injury then here are the statistics you need to know.

Statistically what you need to avoid is compensation.

Yes really.

In the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association a 2005 paper analyzed all the studies they could find on compensation for injuries that needed surgery.

Of 211 studies, 175 found that compensation was associated with a worse outcome, 35 found no difference or did not describe a difference, and 1 described a benefit associated with compensation.

Roughly speaking this means you have a less than 1/2 a percent chance that compensation is likely to make your health outcome better. That’s staggering.

This same damaging effect of compensation shows up in people with head injuries and chronic pain.

What about compensation for psychological problems?

The data is even more scarce, but still along the same lines.

It doesn’t even matter if the compensation scheme is no-fault or not, or involves lawyers or not, worker’s compensation, motor vehicle compensation, insurance compensation, the trend is still the same.

In summary…

For the sake of your health, do NOT get involved in compensation.

If compensation is unavoidable or necessary for other reasons, then realize that you need to take extra precautions. The medical research doesn’t yet pinpoint the precise cause of the poor outcomes from compensation claims, but from my experience in working with people over the years, both as a medical doctor and in counseling, I recommend these self help skills to be vital.

They may save your health.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

Leave a Reply