How to Prove a Back Injury at Work
Even if the injury is relatively minor, a back injury can be debilitating and quite painful. It can become difficult for a person to work in the same capacity as before the injury happened, even if it was a minor injury.
Some individuals may think that it was something they did at work, such as having to bend down or over often or lifting heavy objects that caused that cause their current back problem. These people assume that it may be easy to obtain workers' compensation benefits or open a workers' compensation claim for the injury since they were on job duties when it occurred.
However, proving a person's job caused their back injury may be a tough task. If someone has suffered a back injury at work, the best thing is to contact a lawyer at the Larrimer & Larrimer law firm for a free case review.
Causes of Work Injuries and Back Pain
Most workplace back injuries are caused due to twisting or overextensions of the spine from poor posture, pushing, pulling, or heavy lifting. Potential and severe permanent injuries can come when falls from high places occur at work or even in a work-related car accident.
A back injury is painful and often requires extended recovery periods and treatment.
Common Workplace Back Injuries Include:
Spinal cord damage
Bulging, herniated, and slipped discs
Lower back strain
Thousands of Workers Suffer Lifting Injuries
Each year because of lifting injuries, thousands of workers file compensation claims. Individual employers are responsible for developing their guidelines to protect workers from lower back injury because there are no federal regulations governing workplace lifting requirements.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety created a lifting equation handbook to help employers create a guideline to prevent work-related back injuries. Several factors are taken into the equations, including the duration and frequency of lifting tasks, load weight, the worker's posture, and hand position.
Workplace lifting injuries occur from a cumulative strain on the worker's muscles or sudden trauma. The lower back is defined as the lumbar region and is the area where most lifting injuries occur.
Symptoms of a Back Injury
A few symptoms may appear after work-related back injuries happen to employees of a company. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Pain down the leg
Pain that comes when lifting things, walking, or standing
Individuals could have a back injury if they notice the pain gets better or goes away when they recline. While it is always a good idea to get a general practitioner to check it out, it is imperative to get medical treatment if someone experiences any of the following issues:
Weight loss they cannot explain
Weakness, tingling, numbness in the legs
Pain that goes down below the knees
Severe pain that does not improve with rest
What Injured Workers Should Do When They Feel Back Pain
The moment a person begins to feel pain, they should seek medical care. It would be catastrophic to wait to see if the problem goes away and they start to feel better, as that could cause the back injury to worsen.
Another issue with prolonging treatment is that the worker's compensation benefits insurer can use that against the injured factory worker. The insurance company may claim that the person was injured elsewhere when they delayed seeking medical treatment.
This means that the insurance company may try to make it like the individual was doing work around the house or outside of work playing sports.
Reporting a back injury to an employer is crucial when someone begins the workers' compensation process. They must provide their employer with a written notice within 30 days of the claim, and if they do not do so, they may not receive workers comp.
Claiming an Injury Is from Pre-Existing Conditions
Some insurers may claim that a person's back injury resulted from a particular pre-existing condition. Workers are not entitled to benefits unless their injury is work-related; that is why workers' compensation insurance companies try to use this trick to their advantage.
People need to ensure that they tell their medical providers that they believe the injury is work-related when seeking medical treatment for their back injury. These providers will note this in the person's medical records, with their thoughts of whether the injury occurred at work or not.
If the doctor says the worker's back injury is work-related, it will be very challenging for their employer or workers' compensation insurers to prove otherwise.
Evidence for Proving Injury Claims
There are multiple ways and evidence types that can help someone prove a back injury was caused at their place of employment. Being aware of the below information allows people to be more aware of what is helpful:
Prescriptions are given to the individual by their treating physician, explaining why they need medications and what they are used for
Security footage from the person's workplace showing the accident occurring. It would be best if injured workers asked their employer to provide them with a copy of the CCTV footage recorded on the accident date.
Gather testimonials from witnesses and another coworker who witnessed the event. It is recommended that people speak to anyone there when they suffered their injury and ask for an in-depth statement about what they saw.
Medical records show the individual's treatment duration and date, such as prescribed physical therapy.
Signed doctors notes stating that the person's diagnosis and their back injury is work-related.
How Much Compensation Is Awarded from a Worker's Compensation Claim?
Workers ' compensation insurance will cover a portion of a person's lost wages, therapy costs, and injury-related expenses. In order to help get people back to work, some state worker's comp programs offer vocational benefits to people. There is no monetary recovery for pain and suffering, plus a worker compensation claim will not cover someone's total wages.
Their weekly wage benefits will be two-thirds of the previous year. Individuals may not see a significant drop from their regular take-home pay because worker comp wage benefits are not taxable.
The total compensations will be determined by looking at the worker's compensation disability criteria.
Definition of Worker Compensation Disability Categories
Permanent partial disability is a permanent injury that partially impairs the person's ability to work
Temporary partial disability prevents someone from doing some but not all of their job duties for a limited amount of time
Permanent total disability prevents an individual from returning to work, whether for another employer or their current one
Temporary total disability completely stops someone from working for a limited amount of time
When a doctor has determined that someone has reached maximum medical improvement and their injury has been rated with some level of disability, the insurance company may require that they verify their back injury impairment status.
Most states offer a lump sum settlement for partial and total permanent disabilities. The compensation is calculated using the state's payment schedule for various functions and body parts, the medically determined impairment rating, and the worker's weekly comp wage amount.
Medical Treatment for Back Injuries
The doctor determines treatment for chronic pain from a back injury ranging from mild to extensive. Some doctors may recommend reducing inflammation and pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen.
In order to control severe pain, construction workers may be prescribed narcotic painkillers, such as Percodan, Vicodin, or other potent medication. It is important to remember that narcotic pain medication can have adverse side effects and must be managed scrupulously to avoid the risk of opioid addiction.
Additional treatment can occur after the injury, including whirlpools, physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic care.
Most injured staff want to get back to their job as soon as possible. Surviving on partial wages can be frustrating and stress-inducing. However, returning to work before they are ready and failing to follow their prescribed course of treatment can delay the workers' recovery.
Finding the Correct Lawyer to Help Fight for Workers Comp
Without workers comp, many back injury claims may go unnoticed. That is why it is crucial to get an injury claim filed as soon as possible. It can help a person cover medical costs after an injury occurs while performing work duties.
An attorney with knowledge and legal experience can get compensation awarded for parties who have suffered an injury to the back muscles. They also help those who wonder how workman's comp works when you have 2 jobs. The person's employer is responsible for any accident on the job, as long as their employee can prove it. An accident can occur at a moment's notice, and there is no reason someone should suffer for prolonged periods afterward.
Finding a workers' comp lawyer in Columbus with an incredible attorney-client relationship is the best way to go about getting legal support. They can help determine if the correct safety measures were in place at the office or if the company is dealing with an aging workforce. A lawyer can fight the claim and get compensation from the employer or insurance companies with this information. People should file a claim timeous if hurt while on the job.