A report by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration concludes that work related back injuries are the second most prevalent injury in the workplace. Common back injuries in the workplace include lower back strain, fractured vertebrae, pinched nerves, spinal cord damage, and herniated discs. Are you suffering from lower back pain caused by job related circumstances? You may be eligible to file a workers comp claim.
What are You Entitled To?
If your back injury is sustained at work, you can make a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits can pay for the costs of therapy and other medical bills, medications, out-of-pocket costs, and two thirds of your lost wages.
Filing a Claim For Workers Compensation
The process for claiming worker’s compensation starts when you report that you are having lower back pain to your employer. The initial report will be recorded on a form that they will provide you. You will be required to record specific details concerning the date, time, and the cause of the back injuries.
After you file your paperwork, you will be given a list of approved physicians you can consult for treatment. The physician you choose will be charged with evaluating you and referring you to specialists such as chiropractors and podiatrists. After your physician concludes that you have attained the level of maximum medical improvement, you will be approved to return to work.
Your doctor may diagnose your back injury as either:
- Temporary partial disability- In this case, you are permitted to return to work after your recovery period is over.
- Permanent partial disability- In this scenario, if you are physically unable to return to your position, your employer may be required to transfer you to a job that fits your disability. If there is no such position, you may be required to look for employment elsewhere. A workers comp attorney can advise you on your rights specific to the circumstances of your case.
- Permanent total disability- In this case, you cannot go back to your former employment. For those workers diagnosed with a permanent total disability due to circumstances related to their job, it’s very important to get a workers compensation attorney. This is because the amount of money you will lose from not working is likely to be substantial. In addition, you may be faced with significant medical costs. It’s not unusual for those suffering severe physical disabilities to be required to undergo a major home renovation. They may be unable to use the existing stairs, toilet, sink, shower, kitchen counters and cabinets, etc. without modifications. A lawyer can help you obtain a fair settlement to pay for these and other costs you incur due to your disability.
Lower back pain can have debilitating effects on a person’s ability to function in their daily life. It can also cause emotional pain and suffering. If the injury is severe enough it can force a person to leave their career that they have dedicated themselves to for years. If you are suffering from a serious work injury, consider contacting a workers comp attorney who can help protect your rights.