Jul 2020

Can I collect workers’ compensation for back pain?

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer explains how the system works

Chronic back pain affects millions of people throughout the country. One scientific study estimated that 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. In many cases, people experiencing back pain sustained their back injury on the job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 20 percent of all workplace injuries – more than 1 million injuries – involve back injuries each year.

Even so, there’s sometimes some confusion about whether or not people can collect workers’ compensation for back pain. It’s a common question that experienced workers’ compensation attorney Deborah G. Kohl often hears from injured workers. That’s why we created this guide to help workers better understand their rights and their legal options.

Can I collect workers’ compensation for back pain?

The short answer to this simple question is “maybe.” That’s because there are often many different situations which could potentially affect your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, including:

  • Where your injury took place – You will likely need to prove your back pain is the direct result of a work-related injury.
  • When your injury took place – If you injured your back at work, you often only have a limited amount of time to report your workplace injury. If you wait too long to inform your employer or file a workers’ compensation claim, your claim could be denied.
  • How your injury took place – Many back injuries occur two different ways – in a single incident or over a long period of time. How your back injury occurred could impact your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits and how much you receive in workers’ compensation.
  • If you previously injured your back – Many workers’ compensation claims are denied because of pre-existing medical conditions. This is especially true if you previously injured your back outside of work.

All of these situations – and many more – can dramatically affect your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. That’s why it’s important to learn more about your options and discuss your concerns with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

What are common causes of work-related back injuries?

Back injuries at work which result in back pain occur for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Poor ergonomic sitting position

Whatever the cause of your back injury, make sure you take your back pain seriously right from the start. Talk to your doctor. Then, talk to our law firm.

What are common work-related back injuries?

Back injuries sustained on the job which result in chronic back pain can cover a wide range, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle strain
  • Fractured vertebrae

These are just a few types of work-related back injuries. You may have a different type of injury which requires different treatment and care. A medical professional can examine you and advise you on the best course of action.

What are common symptoms of a back injury?

Many back injuries are different, but they also often have many things in common. Some of the warning signs of a back injury which results in back pain include:

  • Dull ache in lower back
  • Stabbing or shooting pain in the leg
  • Difficulty standing up
  • Reduced range of motion

You know your body best. If something doesn’t feel right, seek immediate medical treatment. Your health and well-being should always come first.

What should I do if I injure my back at work?

If you are experiencing chronic back pain at work and believe it’s due to a work-related injury, we strongly advise taking the following steps:

  • Seek immediate medical treatment. The sooner you talk to a doctor about what’s wrong, the sooner you can hopefully get relief from your back pain.
    Tell your employer you are suffering from back pain and you believe it’s due to a work-related injury.
  • Ask your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf so you can receive the benefits you deserve while you’re recovering from your painful injury.
  • Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Workers’ comp claims can often be very complicated. An experienced lawyer can analyze your potential case and explain your legal options to you.

Attorney Deborah G. Kohl has more than four decades of experience representing people throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts injured at work and in personal injury accidents. To learn more about how attorney Kohl and the entire legal team at The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can assist you with your workers’ compensation claim, simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation. We have offices in Providence, Rhode Island; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Foxborough, Massachusetts.

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