Back injuries are very common workplace injuries for many occupations. However, many individuals do not immediately think of office work as the primary reason for developing a back injury. Upper back injuries are often the result of working in a clerical employment environment and are more common than many people realize. Many times these injuries can also be claimed by individuals who have had a specific amount of stress placed on their upper backs while working constantly in a standing position as well. While office work is rarely labor-intensive, it is still a positionally sedentary occupation in many instances, especially when the clerk is constantly performing job responsibilities from one location in a stressful position.
Repetitive Injury Workers Compensation Claims
While sitting in one position does not necessarily produce a repetitive motion disorder, it can be a condition that results in upper back pain over a long period of time. There are rarely any accident reports at work that will support how an upper back injury occurred, but the long-term employment record and description of job responsibilities may serve as documentation that the situation developed in the workplace. Unless there is a specific accident, these are work injuries that take years to develop. Problems in these claims are usually centered on a denial by the employer’s workers compensation insurance company, stating that the injury is actually the result of an activity performed outside of work. The serious nature of a back injury and potential disability ruling that could cap the compensation available means that employers and insurance companies alike generally fight these injury claims.
Whenever there appears to be a medical problem with the upper back that could be attributed to a work situation, it always advisable to seek medical attention as soon as the injury is realized. Suffering through the pain without seeking medical attention could be construed as an indication the injury is not as severe as claimed. Medical testing results can be used as documentation that the upper back area has characteristics that are not normal and could have easily been created by positioning while working in the office. Ergonomics is still a rather new consideration by companies with regard to their office staff, and many times there is no record of an employer attempting to alleviate the problem. With no accident report available, continually needing medical attention for a back problem, including pain medication, could still be sound evidence of a potential workers comp claim.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney
It may not be wise to attempt working through pain in the upper back area, because it could easily become a detriment to ongoing health. Pain is always an indication that something is wrong physically, and it is important to respond to the message. As soon as you realize there is a medical problem, it may be important to consult with an attorney, even if you are apprehensive about filing a claim because of the struggles that may ensue following a medical leave from work. This is a difficult decision for many, but delay only works to the advantage of the employer who is attempting to avoid a claim altogether. If an employee has already been let go for some different reason, the claim may still be made by the injured worker when they have an aggressive and effective workers compensation attorney, like Wayne Cohen, handling the case. Don’t let a potential injury compensation claim get away, when it could be a component of a disability claim. You work for your compensation rights, and your attorney can do the fighting for you while you focus on rehabilitation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation practice.