If you have suffered a mild to severe back injury at any point in your life, you know how excruciating the pain is. You can’t bend, twist, turn or do any routine activities without shrugging in pain. It’s horrible. What’s worse is that the effects of the injury can last for weeks and even months regardless of how many physical therapy treatments or spinal surgeries you’ve had.
But what happens if you hurt your back at work? Don’t worry. Fellerman & Ciarimboli will guide you through the workers’ compensation process. Before we get there, you should know more about how workplace back injuries are caused and the types of back injuries that exist.
Back Injuries in the Workplace
According to national statistics, more than twenty percent of all workplace accidents involve some type of back injury. These types of injuries may be caused by a traumatic event or something as simple as the repetitive motion of lifting and bending over a long period of time. The most common jobs that lead to back injuries are factory and manufacturing jobs, along with jobs that involve any heavy lifting or strenuous tasks. A few realistic scenarios could be:
- a factory worker having to pick up a box that was too heavy to move
- a medical professional having to move a patient but strained his or her back in the process
- an office worker falling from a faulty chair which injured his or her spine
- a worker falling down a recently mopped tile stairway that didn’t have the proper warning signs
These are just a few examples of workplace accidents that could happen every day. The first thing you should do if you suffered a back injury or any injury in the workplace is seek immediate medical attention. You should also inform your employer within 21 days of the injury. If you wait more than 120 days to file a workers’ compensation claim, your claim might be barred.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
If you have reported your injury within the designated timeframe, your employer will notify its insurance company of your claim. The insurance company will investigate the details of the claim to determine your eligibility for benefits. The insurance company will review your medical records, analyze your work experience, order a medical exam, and send you an assessment of your ability to perform work duties.
They must approve or deny your claim within 21 days of filing. Once your claim is approved, you will begin to receive disability payments and other benefits associated with your workplace injury. If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision within a three-year timeframe. Having Pennsylvania’s top workers’ comp attorneys on your side during the appeal process might be your best option.
Preventing Workplace Back Injuries
Your back injury might have been avoided if your employer took the proper precautions in the first place. Depending on the job, your employer should have provided safety training material from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
There are other ways to prevent back injuries and back pain too. You can learn the proper lifting techniques so you can avoid back pain and injuries from the get-go. Also, consider making exercise part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be excessive. Five minutes of walking or stretching can make all the difference in the world. More importantly, if you think you can’t take on a strenuous task, then it’s best you probably don’t. Listen to your body.
We Will Fight for You
If you are the victim of a workplace back injury or any injury that happened on the job, don’t act alone. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli today and see how we can assist with your workers’ compensation claim. We fight for the injured.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.