Back injuries are among the most common injuries in any workplace. They are often caused by trauma, heavy lifting, falls and continuous and awkward twisting of the spine
When the back is hurt during a job duty, employees can claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, getting workers’ comp for a back injury has significant challenges. Many people suffer from back pain even before they are hurt at work. That may make it difficult for the employee to claim the back injury was work-related.
When this is the case, it is crucial to speak to an Augusta, GA workers’ compensation lawyer who can get the claim on the right track.
How Our Lawyer Can Get Compensation for a Back Injury at Work
A lawyer can help with your workers’ compensation claim in many ways. For instance, an attorney will put your mind at ease by doing the legwork associated with your claim. As you recover your health, you can rest assured your case has the greatest likelihood of success.
Your lawyer will help you by:
- Providing valuable legal advice to help you receive workers’ compensation income and medical benefits for your back injury.
- Making sure you get the best medical treatment possible for your back injury.
- Stopping harassment from your employer or the insurance company when they try to make you return to work before you are ready.
- Investigating why your benefits are late, especially when that has led to unpaid household bills and payments.
- Requesting a hearing if your claim is denied or underpaid.
When challenges arise with your claim, you can trust your workers’ comp lawyer to handle them. Your attorney will make certain you get compensation for your back injury at work.
What Should You Do If You Suffer a Back Injury at Work?
You may be confused when you hurt your back on the job. You may even question whether you are entitled to compensation for a back injury at work. Review these important steps and carefully follow them to protect your claim.
- Report the injury to your employer. Your employer was probably not present when you injured yourself. The employer may not even know about your accident. That is why you must report it. The report will prompt the employer to contact the insurer and begin the claims process. If you do not tell your employer of the accident within a short period – 30 days – your claim may be forever lost.
- Seek emergency medical attention if necessary. If your back injury is so severe that you can’t wait to discuss medical treatment with your employer, go to a local hospital emergency room or urgent care facility immediately.
- Continue medical treatment with an approved doctor. Once your injury is no longer considered an emergency, you must seek treatment from the employer’s list of approved doctors. This list is available in the workplace. Back injuries are often debilitating and can prevent a person from moving in a normal range of motion. Herniated discs typically cause extreme leg or arm pain. The injury may gradually worsen, making it impossible to move around. If the pain continues, seek medical attention. Remember that your health is your most important priority. Also, if you do not get medical help, the insurance company may use that as an excuse to delay your claim or deny it altogether.
- Speak to a lawyer. You can speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer at any time during the process. However, your lawyer will be more familiar with every aspect of your claim if he or she is involved from the very beginning.
What Compensation is Available for Back Injuries at Work?
Once your claim for workers’ compensation is accepted by the insurance company, your medical treatment and prescriptions will be covered at no cost to you. This is the case as long as you are being treated by a doctor on your employer’s panel of physicians. Your transportation costs to and from treatment will also be covered.
If you cannot work for a certain period of time, workers’ compensation in Georgia pays a portion of your lost income. Here’s how the Georgia system works:
- If you are unable to return to work for seven days, workers’ compensation will cover two-thirds of your wages up to a maximum of $675 per week. You may qualify to receive this compensation for as long as 400 weeks depending on the severity of your injury.
- If you miss work for more than twenty-one days in a row, the first seven days of missed work will be paid.
Can You Get Workers’ Comp Benefits If You Had a Pre-Existing Back Injury?
The fact is that many people suffer from back injuries prior to their work-related injury. For example, they may have injured their back at home or in a car accident and then suffered a similar back injury at work.
Many people question whether their pre-existing condition will interfere with their workers’ comp claim.
In Georgia, it is perfectly acceptable to still claim workers’ compensation if you have a pre-existing condition. However, when a previous back injury is present, you must show that your workplace accident aggravated your injury and made it worse.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
If you suffered a back injury at work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Work-related back injuries are very difficult to prove. It is essential that you speak to an Augusta workers’ compensation lawyer today. We can help. We are there for you.
At Gregory Smith Law, LLC, we have the necessary experience to file even the most challenging workers’ compensation claims and give you the greatest chance of success. When you have suffered from a back injury, do not file a claim on your own. Call us today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.