What could cause a back injury at work?
You may have injured your back at work but aren’t even aware. Something as simple as falling a short distance can cause significant damage to your spine. Tripping without falling can also cause back pain.
Other examples of work-related injuries include things like improper lifting or twisting your spine. Thinking back over your work week, was there an incident where you had a trip, fall, or twist?
Were you asked to lift something heavier than usual? All of these factors could be contributing to your back pain. Read on to find out what you should do after hurting your back at work.
When To Report a Back Injury at Work
The best thing you can do when you’re hurt on the job is to notify your supervisor immediately. Just letting an authority figure know that the incident took place isn’t enough.
You’ll also need to file a complete report. Be as thorough on the information as you can. Avoid the urge to let emotions slip in, and instead stick to the facts.
Describe where you were, what you were doing, and what type of accident occurred. Be sure to include who was around you during the incident and what time it took place. The more detailed facts you can have in your report, the easier it’ll be for a personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Navigating Workers Compensation
Along with reporting your injury, you’ll also want to fill out a worker’s compensation claim. Most states require employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance protects the employer from lawsuits that could arise.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a personal injury case. It’s possible that a third party helped contribute to your injury. For instance, let’s say you had a slip and fall at the office.
You fell because the cleaning company failed to put out a wet floor sign. The cleaning company isn’t protected under the workers’ compensation law.
The cleaning company would be a third party, and it would be well within your rights to pursue them legally. You could claim that the negligence of not putting out a wet floor sign contributed to your injuries and that you deserve compensation.
See a Doctor
It’d be best if you went straight to the hospital after your injury. Going directly to a doctor will be easier to establish cause and effect. Hospital X-Rays will be able to determine the condition of your body immediately following the incident.
Comparing the recent x-rays to pass medical records will help determine the extent of your injuries. Another reason to see a doctor is to get the best medical advice for recovering fully. You’ll likely need to take some time off work as you let your muscles and spine fully heal.
Back problems can be complex. A superficial back injury at work can develop into a life-debilitating problem if not handled correctly.
Issues like herniated discs or compressed spinal fractures require immediate attention. By seeing a doctor, you’ll know you’re on the right path to recovery sooner rather than later. You can also ask your doctor about recommended stretches to relieve your pain.
Handling Workers Compensation Claim Denial
Did you fill out a worker’s compensation claim, only to find out it didn’t receive approval? A few different things can cause a worker’s compensation denial.
If you don’t adhere to the deadline set forth by your state, it’ll be challenging to get approval. Another issue pertains to your medical records and accident report.
If the accident report you provide to your employer doesn’t match the information on your medical records, your claim won’t receive approval. You’ll also run into issues if you were under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the injury.
If you receive a denial letter, don’t give up hope. First, take a moment to breathe and center yourself.
Review the letter on your own first, to fully understand the reason for the denial. Then contact an attorney right away, and let them review the letter.
There may be some minor errors that an attorney can fix with an email or a quick phone call. If the denial letter is accurate, the next step will be to file an appeal.
File an Appeal
On the denial letter, there will be a list of deadlines. The deadlines will let you know how long you have to file an appeal. Typically, you’ll have a month or less, so you’ll want to get started.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a lawyer, look for a private attorney that can help you on a contingency basis. They only receive a payment if they’re able to win your case. The price will come out of a portion of your settlement award and is usually around 20% of the benefit amount.
Even though you’re using a contingency arrangement, you’re still going to have to pay for filing fees or any expert witness fees. Ask the lawyer to provide you with the estimate of these costs so that you’re not caught off guard when the bill comes.
We suggest filing the appeal by certified mail so that you’ll have a receipt for your records. What’s going to happen next?
Your employer will respond to the appeal by explaining why they believe the claim needs to be denied. Use this answer to help you understand what your employer’s argument will be.
You likely have to undergo a thorough medical evaluation at the request of your employer. You’ll also want to gather up all of the relevant evidence you can find. One of the best types of evidence is medical professionals who can provide expert testimony to the extent of your injuries.
Coworkers who saw the accident take place would also be helpful. Prepare to testify, and get ready to attend a pre-trial hearing. When your trial day comes along, it’s a good idea to arrive at court early.
Don’t Wait To Get Help
We understand you’re in pain, which can make decision-making extra tricky. But the good news is you don’t have to handle this alone. If a back injury at work is causing you distress, you deserve help and compensation.
By taking swift action, you’ll be able to have the best possible outcome for your worker’s compensation claim. Here at the law office of Arturo Martinez, we always put the client first. Go ahead and reach out to us today so that we can provide you with a free consultation.