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Workers’ Compensation Settlement for a Back Injury
You are in good company if you have hurt your back, neck, head, or spine on the job. According to statistics published by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, more than one-quarter of all claims are due to an injury of one of these areas of the body. These injuries are common across all types of occupations and can occur due to something as simple as lifting a box.
Because these are internal injuries, the workers’ compensation insurance company representing your employer may suggest that you are exaggerating your ongoing pain and disability. This leaves you fighting for your right to fair compensation when the only thing you should need to worry about is getting better. If you find yourself in this situation or just want more help filing and processing your claim, an experienced back injury lawyer from Terry Katz & Associates is available and happy to assist you.
I’ve Been Injured at Work, What Should I Do?
It is important to seek medical care promptly to receive a proper diagnosis and evidence for your workers’ compensation claim. Keep in mind that you need to visit a doctor approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board if you plan to follow through with following a claim. This is also true if you need to receive diagnostic tests such as an MRI, CT, or X-ray from another medical provider.
You can receive a list of eligible medical providers from your employer when you submit notice of your injury. Although it is preferable to submit this notification right away, you have 30 days from the date of the injury to do so. Once you have notified your employer, you need to complete Form-C-3.
Types of Back and Spine Injuries at Work
Some back and spine injuries are mild enough to only require a few days of rest to feel better. Others are so extensive that they require medication, surgery, long-term physical therapy, and other typical interventions. No matter what your degree of damage, your pain and disability will likely only get worse without treatment. Some of the most common types of workers compensation back injuries include:
- Compression fracture: Trauma is a common cause of a compression fracture. It can also occur due to the vertebra in the back weakening over time. When this injury occurs at work, it is often due to a fall, lifting too much weight, or another event that places considerable stress on the back or spine.
- Disc protrusion: When the interverbal disc of the back ruptures, the result can be significant leg pain. That is because the nerves of this area send electrical signals to the legs to move and the injury disrupts this process. Falls, as well as improper lifting or twisting, are the most frequent causes of this type of injury.
- Lumbar strain or sprain: The soft tissue of the para-vertebrae is prone to strain from overuse. It is typically less serious than the other types of back and spine injuries but could still cause you to miss work.
- Vertebral fracture: This typically occurs after highly strenuous physical activities. Although painful, it generally heals itself within several months.
What Happens If I’m Denied Coverage?
Denial of benefits is common, especially with back and spine injuries. Injured people end up filing a workers comp lawsuit back injury claim when the employer or its insurance company try to say that something else caused the back or spinal pain other than an injury at work.
For example, the denial letter might state that an older worker is simply feeling the effects of aging and that is why he or she has chronic back or spinal pain. If the employer knows the worker has an old injury from a car accident, sports, or another cause, the insurance company will likely try to pin the current pain on that instead of work duties. Even when admitting that the injury is current, the insurance provider may try to argue that it happened outside of work and therefore does not warrant workers’ compensation benefits.
We understand that it is extremely frustrating and discouraging to receive a denial when you feel legitimately entitled to benefits as an injured worker. The good news is that you have a right to retain a back injury attorney and that you pay no legal fees upfront. Our New York spinal cord injury lawyers earn a fee only if we are successful in winning your case.
Contact a Long Island Workers’ Comp Lawyer
At Terry Katz & Associates, we are squarely on the side of the injured worker. Our team of workers’ compensation attorneys have more than three decades of experience helping people get the benefits they need to meet their financial obligations when their injuries prevent them from working their typical schedule.
Insurance companies often deny workers’ compensation claims because they count on the injured person not fighting back. No matter where you are at in the process, we encourage you to contact our office in Uniondale, New York at 888-488-7459 to request a free and confidential review of your workers’ compensation case. We will advise you on the best steps with your claim until you can finally get back to work.