Whether you lift heavy objects or sit in a chair, most workers have some risk of hurting their back at work. If you hurt your back at work, it’s a work-related injury. You may deserve workers comp for a back injury, and other forms of legal protection may apply to you. However, in order to exercise your rights, you need to know what to do. Here is what to do if you hurt your back at work.
What Should I Do if I Hurt My Back at Work?
If you hurt your back at work, you should notify the employer as soon as possible. You should seek medical care quickly. You may file for workers compensation, but it’s important to work with a workers comp lawyer in order to make sure that you receive full compensation and that you are paid quickly. You may also deserve other forms of compensation.
Take the Right Steps
If you hurt your back at work, what you do next can greatly impact the work comp that you receive. As you work to rebuild your life and heal from your injuries, the workers compensation system exists to help you have access to medical treatment and replacement income when you can’t go to work. Here are the steps to take when you hurt your back at work:
Report the Injury to your Employer
Make sure that you tell your employer about the back injury right away. Connecting the dots between your work and the injury is critical. If you hurt your back with a sudden strain or because of blunt force, you should tell the employer the same day, if possible. Even if you don’t realize your injury right away, you should make the report of the back injury as soon as possible. Chronic back injuries may qualify for workers comp, too. In all cases, as soon as you realize that you’re injured, you should tell the employer about the injury.
Make the Report in Writing
It’s not enough to simply tell your employer that you’re hurt. Instead, you need to make the report in writing. You can’t count on the employer to protect your best interests or make a report for you. You need to ensure that the employer makes a written report that you suffered the injury. The employer may claim that you got hurt outside of work. However, by creating a record of the date that the injury occurs, you create an indisputable record of how you got hurt.
Get Medical Care
Workers comp exists to help you treat your injuries and pay your expenses if you’re unable to work. In order to pay you fairly, you need to know what your injuries are. Getting medical care helps you start on the path to recovery while also getting to the bottom of what your injuries are. The right medical evaluation can create a record of what it’s going to take for you to reach the maximum medical improvement from your injuries. If you don’t agree with the opinion of the employer’s doctor, you have a right to get a second opinion.
Evaluate Your Settlement
The goal of the insurance company is to resolve the case while paying as little as possible. Don’t just assume that they correctly calculated the compensation you deserve or that they included the full extent of everything that you may qualify to receive. Instead, review the settlement with a workers comp lawyer. A lawyer can make sure that you are receiving fair treatment under the law and that the settlement is in your best interests. If your claim is denied, the workers comp lawyer can help you with the appeals process. Be mindful of deadlines that might exist.
Continue with Medical Treatment
In order to continue to receive medical care and lost wage compensation, you need to continue with your medical care. Getting to healthcare appointments can be a struggle, especially if the insurance company tries to make it difficult for you to fulfill your obligations. However, appearing when you’re required and doing what you need to do as part of the case is critical to getting the best possible resolution for your back injury at work.