When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.
If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you may not always be aware that it's work-related. Workers' compensation law covers all injuries sustained on the job, including lower back injuries that cause chronic pain. In some states, workers' compensation law will also cover you if your job exacerbated a preexisting back injury.
If you're suffering from chronic lower back pain due to your job, your employer is required to pay all medical bills related to treating your injury. This can even include back surgery. In addition, your employer is also required to pay a portion of the wages you're not earning as a result of being unable to work due to your back pain. To learn more about why lower back injuries are common in the workplace and what you should do if you think your back pain is work-related, read on.
How Can You Injure Your Lower Back While Working?
Lower back injuries are common in many industries. Warehouse workers or contractors, for example, may need to repeatedly lift heavy objects all throughout the working day. Lifting an object that's too heavy can immediately strain your back, and the damage from repetitive lifting can eventually cause chronic lower back pain. Restaurant workers who stand in the kitchen all day can develop lower back pain over time, and people who work in offices and have poor posture can also eventually develop it. Due to the varied ways that lower back pain can happen, it's a very common work-related injury.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Lower Back Pain Is Work-Related?
If you start to feel pain in your lower back and think it's related to the work you perform at your job, talk to your supervisor and file a workers' compensation claim as soon as possible. It's important to file a claim immediately for two reasons. First, there's an absolute time limit on how late you can file a claim once your lower back pain symptoms appear. In most states, you have a year to file a claim, but some states only give you thirty days.
Second, filing a claim immediately reduces the chance that your claim will be denied. For a valid workers' compensation claim, the injury needs to be job-related. Your employer's insurance company will typically attempt to argue that you sustained a back injury while not working, and this becomes easier for them if you wait a considerable amount of time before filing your claim.
What Happens Once You File a Claim for Your Chronic Lower Back Pain?
Once you file a workers' compensation claim, your employer will put you in touch with an adjuster from their insurance company and a nurse case manager. They'll help you go through the process of documenting your injury medically. You'll most likely have to visit a doctor provided by your employer's insurance company. In the best case scenario, your claim will be uneventful — your lower back injury will be diagnosed, and you'll receive the appropriate compensation for your injury, including payment for your medical bills and partial wages for the hours you're unable to work.
However, workers' compensation claims don't always go so smoothly. If you think that your insurance company is trying to deny your claim or downplay your injury, contact a workers' compensation lawyer in your area. It can be difficult to prove that a lower back injury is work-related, especially if it's due to repetitive strain. A workers' compensation lawyer can help you gather the documentation you need to prove that your injury is work-related, such as a second opinion from a specialist doctor. With a lawyer on your side, you have a much better chance of being successful at receiving compensation for your work-related lower back pain.
For more information on workers' compensation law, speak to an attorney.