How to Handle a Workplace Back Injury the Legal Way

How to Handle a Workplace Back Injury the Legal Way

Back injuries are a common form of injury people suffer at work. The consequences can be painful, whether it’s caused by an accident on the job or due to awkward postures or repetitive motions. As a matter of fact, it becomes difficult to perform job responsibilities due to chronic and debilitating pain. 

A back injury from work can be a minor muscle strain or a serious injury that can leave you permanently disabled. If you are someone who has suffered such an injury, it’s important to know your rights about workers’ compensation and take steps to protect yourself. Take the following steps to protect yourself legally.

Step 1: Report the Injury Immediately

The first step you should take after suffering from a back injury at work is to report it to your employer as soon as possible. This should be done in writing and should include the date, time, the location of the injury, and a brief description of how it happened.

Most states have laws that require employees to report workplace injuries within a specific timeframe. Failing to do so can jeopardise your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Also, keep a copy of any reports or forms you submit to your employer. 

Step 2: Get Medical Attention

Getting medical attention after a back injury is important, even if you think the injury is minor. Schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. This is important for two reasons:

  • Your Health: A medical checkup will help you receive proper treatment for your injury. Early diagnosis will help you recover quickly and prevent your injury from worsening.
  • Documentation: A medical checkup will create a record of your injury, which will be important if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

Step 3: Understand Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that helps employees get benefits when they get injured on the job. These benefits include:

  • Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation will cover the cost of all medical treatment related to your work injury, including surgery, rehabilitation, and medication. 
  • Temporary Disability Benefits: If you are not able to work for some time due to your back injury, you can have the right to get temporary disability benefits. These benefits will replace a portion of your lost wages. 
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: If you cannot completely recover from your back injury because of its severity, you can get permanent disability benefits. These benefits will give you financial assistance for the rest of your life. 
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits: These benefits are available to cover the cost of job retraining if you cannot return to the job you had before your accident.
  • Death Benefits: If a worker dies due to a work-related back injury, death benefits are payable to their family or dependents.

Step 4: File Your Claim

Once your injury is reported to your employer and your medical checkup is done, you’ll have to file your claim for workers’ compensation. The filing process can be different in every state, but your employer should be able to provide you with the necessary forms and instructions. It is important to file your claim within the time limits set by your state. These time limits can be strict, so you need to act promptly. 

Step 5: Gather Evidence

To support your claim, you will need to gather evidence of your injury. This may include:

  • A medical report from your doctor
  • Witness statements from coworkers who saw the accident happen
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Any other evidence that supports your claim

Step 6: Third-Party Lawsuits

In some cases, you might need to file a third-party claim against the person or entity that caused your injury. This could be a manufacturer of a defective product, a property owner who failed to maintain their premises safely, or another worker who caused your injury through negligence. 

Final Words

A back injury sustained at work can be physically, financially, and mentally draining. But you don’t have to handle it alone. Consult a lawyer who has a better understanding of the workers’ compensation process and can help you manage the legal aspects. You can discuss your specific legal rights and options with your lawyer for better protection. 


You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply