Back Injury Attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky
Back injuries may on the surface appear to result from heavy-duty jobs – lifting, constructing, warehousing, stocking, manufacturing, and other labor-intensive occupations, but back problems can even result from sedentary jobs such as sitting at a computer terminal all day. Back problems and injuries are, in fact, one of the most ubiquitous of all workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance system in place in every state that provides medical-expense and lost-wage benefits for those injured on the job, or in work-related activities, or who fall ill due to exposure to toxic substances at work. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that you cannot generally sue your employer for any injuries or illnesses resulting from your occupation.
If you have developed back problems from your job-related activities in or around Louisville, Kentucky, contact the husband-and-wife team of workers’ compensation attorneys at the Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. Their team serves clients in Lexington and across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
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Possible and Common Causes of Back Injuries at Work
A slip-and-fall accident in which a worker strikes the pavement or ground on his or her back can lead to serious problems from the head and neck down through the spine. Depending on where the blow hit hardest, the effects can be devastating, including the loss of limb movement and even quadriplegia.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers suffer back injuries every year. Back injuries account for one in every five workplace injuries. Lifting is the number-one cause of back injuries, according to the BLS, with three out of every four back injuries resulting from lifting, carrying, and lowering materials.
Construction and factory workers are all subject to lifting-related back injuries, as are healthcare workers who have to lift and transport patients. Long-haul truckers who drive for hours and then must help unload their cargo are also at risk. Even office workers can experience back injuries after developing poor posture while gazing at a computer or answering phones all day.
Employer Precautions and Remedies
Employers can institute a range of different techniques and engineering controls when it comes to lifting and resulting back injuries, including:
Reducing the size or weight of the object being lifted. Providing handles can also help reduce the physical stress involved.
Adjusting the height of the pallet or shelf. Lifting above knee height or shoulder height causes the most stress, so adjusting the height to which the object must be lifted can help prevent injuries.
Installing mechanical aids. Pneumatic lifts and conveyors can save workers a lot of physical stress.
Proving Your Back Pain Is Work-Related
Insurers of any ilk, and certainly workers’ compensation insurers, are always looking out for the bottom line. Claims are routinely questioned, to use a mild term, to determine if they are legitimate. When it comes to back injuries, your workers’ compensation insurer is probably going to challenge whether your condition is the result of a pre-existing condition or truly a byproduct of your particular occupation. This can make your claim more difficult. You will need to provide proof that it was the result of an accident at work or because of repetitive stress.
Of course, if you were struck by an object in the back or had a slip-and-fall incident at work, that event can certainly help show that your condition is work-related. But what if you claim, as a warehouse worker, that your back problems resulted from your day-to-day work requirements? The insurer can point out that only you out of X number of workers developed such back symptoms.
How to show your injury resulted from work? Of course, your physician who diagnoses your back problem can attest that it resulted from work-related activities. In addition, you can provide:
Statements from co-workers who witnessed the accident causing your back problems or who watched you perform repetitive tasks every day that could lead to back issues
Security footage showing the accident you suffered or the repetitive nature of your work that could lead to back problems
Documentation of prescriptions from your physician or of treatment and rehabilitation programs you’ve been assigned to
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The earlier you can document your back problems the better. If you wait too long to make a workers’ compensation claim, it can raise some red flags on the insurer’s side. To be sure, they’re probably going to challenge your claim anyway, but being timely gives you an edge, provided you have the other supporting evidence, as detailed above.
Back Injury Attorneys Serving Louisville, Kentucky
Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for back injuries can be a daunting process. If you’re in or around Louisville, Kentucky, and develop work-related back problems, contact the Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. Their attorneys will help you assemble the documentation and evidence necessary to press your claim or to file an appeal if you’re been turned down. Your first consultation is free, so reach out immediately.