Whether you work in a physically demanding field such as construction or you sit in an office chair all day, back pain and back injuries can severely disrupt your ability to work.
Back injuries are often difficult to diagnose and treat because they affect different people in different ways:
- A serious back injury like a herniated disc can inflect serious pain on one worker while hardly affecting another worker at all
- A muscle strain in the back sounds less severe than a fracture or disc rupture, but in fact, can be seriously debilitating
Many workplace back injuries are the result of accidents, but others occur due to repeated stress over months, years and even decades of work.
How has this injury affected you?
If you are seeking workers’ compensation for a work-related back injury, it is important to document how your injury affects you personally. Some back injuries make it difficult to sit while some make it difficult to stand, bend or stoop. In many cases, back injuries limit a worker’s range of motion to the point where they cannot perform any job duties, let alone physically demanding ones.
The daily toll of a back injury can be difficult to predict. One day, you may feel fine and the next you may struggle to get out of bed. This unpredictable nature is one reason injured workers may find it difficult to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries.
Linking back injuries to work
X-rays, MRIs and other diagnostic tools can help you uncover the source of your back pain, but you must demonstrate a clear link between an injury and work-related activity in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
An insurance company may claim your back injury is not severe enough to warrant compensation, or they may claim it is not work-related at all. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer knows how to counter these arguments to benefit the injured worker. For instance, even you injured your back years before you started in your current position, if on-the-job activities aggravated your injury, you should qualify for benefits.
Overcoming legal challenges
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, remember, your back injury affects you in unique ways. The severity of your injury and its cause may be more challenging to prove, but this does not mean that you should give up. A determined legal effort may be the key to obtaining the benefits you need to make it through this difficult time.