Getting hurt on the job can have broad reaching consequences, especially when those injuries involve your back or neck. Going from being mobile and productive to immobile and in pain can cause depression and can affect your relationships as well as your ability to live the life you did before the injury. Things can seem pretty overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through all of this alone. Let an experienced work-related injury attorney help you navigate the legal aspects of your situation so you can focus on getting back on your feet.
Neck and Back Injuries Very Common in the Workplace
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 almost 18,000 people injured their necks while on the job, and over 212,000 people injured their backs. The causes of the injuries depend on a number of factors including:
- Auto accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Improper lifting techniques
- Long-term sitting or standing
- Ongoing vibration of seats
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries can range from mild strains or sprains to full paralysis. The injuries may have short term or long-term effects. Common work-related neck and back injuries include:
- Sciatica – can occur when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine compresses part of the nerve, causing inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg.
- Whiplash – can affect ligaments, discs, and joints; muscles and ligaments are strained and may be inflamed, painful, and tender.
- Compression fractures – usually followed by acute back pain, can cause chronic pain, loss of height, crowding of internal organs, and loss of muscle and aerobic conditioning.
- Slipped or herniated discs – occurs when all or part of a disc is forced through a weakened part of the disc, placing pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord.
- Spinal cord injuries – damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, which can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.
- Paraplegia – loss of sensation and movement in the lower extremities.
- Quadriplegia – loss of sensation and movement in upper and lower extremities.
Some victims of neck and back injuries can suffer from chronic pain for the rest of their lives. Other may be forced into long-range changes to their lifestyles. Regardless of whether the injury is mild or critical, workers are entitled to be compensated for their injuries. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be a lifesaver.
Standing Up For Your Rights
If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to medical protection, payments for lost wages and future loss wage earning capacity. Don’t lose out on these benefits by thinking you can do this alone. Workers’ compensation claims can be complex and insurance companies love to deny claims. The personal injury attorneys at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. won’t take no for an answer. We’ll help you stand up for your rights.
What Happens In A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
New York law requires employers to carry insurance that provides their employees with medical and wage benefits if an employee is injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is available to injured employees regardless of who was at fault or how the accident occurred. Even if the employee was at fault for his or her own injuries, the employee is still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
In most cases, you will need to notify your employer of your neck or back injury within 24-48 hours. If prompt notice is not provided, the employer may deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim is accepted, you should receive your first lost wages payment within 18-25 days of your injury. You must seek medical treatment immediately and will only be compensated if a doctor etermines you are unable to work due to the work accident.
Typical workers’ compensation claims allow recovery for:
- lost wages (generally about 2/3 of your weekly wage);
- full medical coverage for treatment of the injury or illness; and
- in the event of death, payment of benefits to the worker’s dependents.
For more information about workers’ compensation, review our list of frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation.
If you injure your neck or back while on the job, you and your family will need the full range of benefits that are available. Choosing the New York lawyers of Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. may be the best decision you’ll make to protect yourself and your family. Our New York lawyers have an impressive track record of success with workers’ compensation cases. Contact us today at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!