How to Get Compensation for Back Injuries at Work
An old saying may prove that the fabled “tree of life” is a misunderstood concept. The tree of life is a euphemism that references the human spine.
Any saying that references the tree of life is basically cautioning you to take care good care of your spine. Keep your back healthy, and your back will take care of you for the rest of your life.
Depending on your job, avoiding strain or damage to your back may be easier said than done.
Are you employed in a vocation that puts you at ever-increasing odds of incurring back injuries? Then you should understand how to get workers’ compensation in an exacting manner relative to your needs.
As a worker, you should never take anything in life for granted, like automatically receiving workers’ compensation. If you suffer back injuries at work, it will be up to you alone to prove it happened, not your employer.
Back Injuries Report Statistics
Over 1 million back-related workplace injuries occur every year. About one out of every five workplace injuries involve a back injury. Over a quarter of all worker’s compensation, filing claims are related to back injuries.
The average workers’ compensation for a back injury at work ranges between $33,000 and up to $38,000. However, the amount of money you may receive for a workers’ compensation claim depends on your ability to file correctly.
If you need help on proving a back injury at work and collecting workers’ compensation, contact Invictus Law today.
Before we talk about how to get compensation for back injuries at work, let look at what constitutes a back injury and which jobs put you at most risk for back injuries.
Related – STEPS TO DOCUMENT YOUR WORK INJURY
Back Injury at Work
As we will get into more detail later on, there is a process for claiming a workers comp back injury. You will have to prove that the back injury you suffered at work was actually caused at work.
A back injury could be related to damage in your back muscles, spinal cord, or a combination of both.
As such, there is not just one kind of back injury.
Sprained, strained, or torn back muscles can be classified as back pain.
Herniated, slipped, bulging discs, or fractured vertebrae are symptoms related to spinal injuries.
Some workers experience pinched nerve injuries, which can keep them out of work for indefinite periods of time.
Here’s some examples of the types of jobs where you have increased odds of developing back injuries.
If there is one vocation that basically ensures work-related punishment on the body, it’s warehouse, manufacturing, and labor-based work.
Manufacturing warehouses are large, cavernous places that almost resemble obstacle courses.
Warehouse workers must remove cargo from trucks or pallets and then bend, lift, carry, and physically walk that cargo to various locations.
Additionally, warehouse workers who drive or operate heavy machinery can then aggravate injured backs with the prolonged proximity vibrations that emanate from such vehicles.
Are you a construction worker? Then your vocation is one of the most at-risk jobs for incurring back injuries.
Construction workers engage in repetitive motions and movements all day long while lifting, moving, and physically shuttling heavy objects all day.
The average construction worker spends inordinate amounts of time bending down, lifting, pulling, carrying, pushing, and tugging objects of considerable weight all day long.
Overly repetitive, strenuous motions and movements emanating from the back can cause muscle sprains, tearing, or serious spine-related injuries.
The average human being lives to be about 79 years old on average. That being said, human beings are living longer lifespans due to advanced medical technology and healthier living.
While this information is great, it also means that nurses, nursing aides, and nursing home workers will work harder, and at great bodily sacrifice, to do their jobs.
Administering medicine, bringing meals, taking temperatures, and recording vital signs are just some of the tasks nurses undertake.
The public at large does not truly appreciate the labor-intensive aspects of nursing work.
Nurses, aides, and orderlies must physically transfer patients from their bed to the bathroom, gurney, wheelchair, and then back again.
These activities require a lot of carrying, lifting, picking up, pushing, pulling, and turning motions of the body on a repetitive daily basis. About 80% of all nursing industry-related injuries are back injuries.
Jobs with Increased Risk for Back Injuries
The numbers of jobs with increased risk for sustaining back injuries are too numerous to list. They can include:
- Dry cleaners
- Cable and telephone workers
- Janitors, maids, and cleaning staff
- Assembly line staff
If you are employed in any of these vocations and sustain a back injury, here is what you must do you file a workers’ compensation claim.
Get Medical Help Immediately and Document the Injury as Work-Related
If you sustain a back injury at work, get medical help as soon as possible. You can task a coworker or supervisor to inform your employer if you are too injured to do it directly. (You will officially inform your employer later).
Explain your back injuries, and how they occurred in the workplace, in a detailed and exacting manner. Omit no details. Your doctor must unerringly understand exactly how work activities caused your injuries.
Why? If you list all of your symptoms thoroughly, then your doctor can better identify which injuries occurred during work relative to your symptom descriptions.
Then, have your doctor send the bill to your employer or workers’ compensation insurance policy directly. Never allow a doctor to bill you directly for injuries you sustained at work.
Officially Report Your Injury to Your Employer
You should contact your employer directly after you have received medical treatment for your workplace injury.
Don’t assume that a coworker or supervisor relayed your message or the severity of your injury in your message.
Don’t allow ambiguity, misadventure, or misinterpretation of facts to cloud the intent of your claim.
Keep in mind that according to the laws of your state, you may only have days or a few weeks to officially report a workplace injury to your employer.
Wait too long to report your injury and your claim could become void before you file it.
Request a Workers’ Compensation Form
Request a workers’ compensation filing form after you inform your employer of your workplace back injury.
Your employer must supply your claim form as soon as possible after a request.
Collect Your Evidence
Gather as much proof, evidence, and documentation as needed to add to your claim before filing.
Get records of your medical care like x-rays, doctor’s records, bills, and even an independent medical examination if possible.
Try to get official statements from coworkers and anyone who witnessed your workplace injury. Try to get such eyewitness accounts in writing.
You may need to gather even more documentation related to your back injury even after you file your claim.
Consult an Attorney
Consult a lawyer about your workers’ compensation claim if possible. There are filing deadlines, stipulations, and law statutes that you may not know about to your detriment before filing.
File Your Claim
After filling out your claim form and adding documentation, you must give it to your employer. Physically hand it over to your employer or appropriate office if possible.
Keep official, notarized copies of your claim form and documentation before you file them.
Get Help Filing for Workers’ Compensation
Your worker’s compensation claim may be denied for many reasons.
Filing too late, not having medical documentation of the injury, or having your employer dispute the incident are just a few of them.
About 5% of workers’ compensation claims end up being ultimately settled in court.
A lawsuit could cost you a lot of money via legal defense. Or negate gaining any money you win from a workers’ comp lawsuit, even if you win.
If you injured your back at work, don’t file a claim on your own if you can help it. Contact Invictus Law today.