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Back Injuries On-the-Job
Every year, many Americans are hurt on the job and may be entitled to workers’ compensation for being injured at work. Many work-related injuries are back injuries, which can be severely disabling, resulting in long-term pain and treatment, as well as reduced future earnings due to limited employment options.
If you believe you have a back injury that you sustained from being hurt at work or are on the course for developing a back condition or injury due to your activities in the workplace, it is important to understand what benefits you may be entitled to.
A back injury can be severely debilitating, and the way it manifests itself can vary significantly. Many Americans in a wide range of professions are at risk of being hurt at work from a back injury. You can maximize your chances of receiving workers’ compensation back injury benefits by speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney to plan your claim.
What Workers’ Compensation Back Injury Benefits Are There?
Even though you have a back injury, you may be able to get at least some monetary compensation to help with your medical costs and lost future earnings. This is called workers’ compensation.
Back injuries are part of a broad category of work-related injuries that are commonly referred to as “WMSD” injuries. “WMSD” injuries refer to those work-related injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system, such as injuries to the neck, wrist, shoulder, and back.
Back injuries are among the most common ways people are hurt at work. In fact, it is reported that in 2014 over 200,000 people in the United States received back injuries and back injuries account for 25% of all workers’ compensation payments.
The way your back may be hurt is extremely varied, as the back is a very complicated body part. For example, you may strain your lower back while lifting boxes as a warehouse worker. You may pinch a nerve in your spinal cord or herniate a disk from improper posture even while sitting.
There is a wide variety of back injuries and the activities that cause them. Nearly every occupation has some risk of back injury, and therefore it is important to be aware of the risks and remedies of being hurt on the job.
The kind of back injury you receive and how you receive it may still have a significant impact on whether you are qualified for workers’ compensation for it. For example, if your back pain is temporary and goes away after several weeks, it is uncertain that you will be able to claim workers’ compensation for it—even though you were hurt on the job.
Furthermore, if you have a pre-existing condition or the injury was caused by an activity outside of work, the chances of workers’ compensation decrease further.
However, if the back injury was received while at work and is severe and long-lasting, it is very likely you will be entitled to workers’ compensation claims for being hurt on the job. It is important to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to explore your options and claim your workers’ compensation benefits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a federally-determined but state-run program that allows people who have been hurt on the job to receive monetary benefits for treatment and costs, as well as compensation for lost future earnings.
Whether you have a back injury or have been hurt on the job from some other activity, it is important to understand how the workers’ compensation system works as well as consider speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney to see what benefits you may be entitled to from workers’ compensation.
Pennsylvania runs its own state-insurance program, the CRB, under its own guidelines and mandates. The agency oversees workers’ compensation regulations, whether for insurance rates, administering claims, or determining eligibility.
If you receive a back injury from being hurt on the job, you will likely be filing a claim with a private insurance carrier in Pennsylvania. The state’s workers’ compensation fund is only tapped when the insurance is not sufficient, or an employer does not have insurance.
Furthermore, it is very possible that a back injury may leave you totally injured or disabled. Workers’ compensation can provide you significant benefits for being hurt at work and even more if you have been totally disabled from it.
Is Pennsylvania Friendly to Pre-Existing Conditions or Workers’ Compensation?
In 2015, back injuries accounted for over 12.5%, or over 20,000, of workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
Whatever the specifics of your back injury, there are many options available to you in Pennsylvania to receive workers’ compensation for your injuries from being hurt on the job.
Pennsylvania is not the most generous state in the country for those hurt on the job, but it still ranks among the above-average states for workers compensation payments and benefits.
In 2016, Pennsylvania ranked 17th out of 50 states. However, this was lower than its 12th place ranking in 2012. Pennsylvania pays 8% more than the national average for workers compensation.
Pennsylvania keeps a healthy workers’ compensation program for those who are hurt at work. If you believe you may qualify for workers’ compensation, a work injury lawyer can help you navigate the process of successfully filing your claim.
I believe my back may have been hurt at work, how do I get workers’ compensation?
The general process of filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania is by informing your employer and attempting to get their insurance carrier to process and pay out your claim.
However often times the insurance carrier will challenge your claim, whereupon you can appeal to the state government and get a hearing before a state-appointed workers’ compensation judge.
If you have a back injury, the medical details of you being hurt at work will be particularly important. The back injury may have developed over time, and you may have multiple symptoms, such as spinal cord damage, muscle damage, or fractured discs. It is important to properly analyze and present the information in order to raise the chances of a successful claim.
Many workers will find they want the services of a work injury lawyer to help them navigate what can be quite complex legal maneuvers, where even a minor slip can result in severe consequences.
A workers’ compensation attorney can also help you present your case in the best possible light, significantly raising the chances of your claim being successful.
I’m ready to file a claim. What’s next?
If you believe you have been hurt on the job with a back injury, and are considering filing a claim for workers’ compensation, it is worth contacting a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case and see what options are available to you.