You may work in construction, often lifting heavy materials and bending down to install flooring. Or you are a nursing assistant who often has to move patients during your long shifts. One day at work, your back could give out and you might need immediate medical help. Or one morning, you could wake up and barely be able to move because of how much your back hurts.
If you suffer a back injury at work, you are not alone, especially if you work in a job that requires physical labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million employees suffer workplace back injuries each year and back injuries account for one in five workplace injuries or illnesses.
When you suffer a back injury at work
If you suffer a back injury at work, you need to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. You also need to seek medical treatment. If you don’t seek medical help in a timely manner, that could impact your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer’s workers’ comp provider could claim your injury is pre-existing or wasn’t the result of your job.
For full workers’ compensation, you may need your medical records with a doctor documenting how your injury is work-related or how your work duties aggravated a pre-existing condition. You also may need to show how you are following your doctor’s treatment plan, participating in physical therapy and chiropractic care to rehab your back. Finally, you may need your coworkers to give a statement about how they saw you suffer your injury or surveillance video from when your injury occurred.
Getting your work injury costs covered
You may need to seek the help of a workers’ compensation attorney if you have problems getting your work injury costs covered. Your workers’ compensation benefits should pay the following for your work-related back injury:
- Your medical costs
- Your prescription costs
- Lost wages from time you missed from work because of your injury
- Costs for your rehabilitation treatment
- Compensation if you suffered a permanent disability because of work-related back injury
You shouldn’t have to worry about paying your bills when you suffer a back injury at work and need time to recover. By fighting to get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, you can focus fully on your recovery and hopefully getting back to work soon.