Can You Collect Workers Compensation for Back Pain?
An employee is entitled to collect workers’ compensation for back pain if the worker can prove that it is caused by a work-related injury or condition. However, the injury or condition must be documented and verified by a medical professional – and pain can be a hard thing to “prove”.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help an employee file the required documentation, medical records, and ‘paperwork” with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier – to ensure that the worker collects the maximum workers comp benefits for which they qualify.
Jobs That Have the Most Work-Related Back Pain
Workers in certain professions may be more likely to suffer back pain due to the physical demands of the job. Some examples include:
- Manual labor jobs that involve heavy lifting, such as construction workers, warehouse workers, and factory workers.
- Jobs that require prolonged standing or sitting, such as assembly line workers, cashiers, and truck drivers.
- Health care jobs that involve moving and lifting patients, such as nurses and nursing assistants, physical therapists, and home health aides.
- Jobs that involve repetitive motions, such as assembly line workers and computer programmers.
Back pain can also be caused by a variety of other factors in almost any type of job. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs for long hours, poor posture, improper lifting technique, and muscle imbalances can all lead to back pain. So, it’s important to take preventative measures to protect your back regardless of the profession you are in.
What Types of Back Pain Qualify for Workers Compensation?
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation for back pain, it must be proven by the worker that the injury or condition was caused by a work-related incident or activity. The employer does not have to be negligent or at fault. And it doesn’t matter if the worker ‘contributed’ to the back pain – even if the accident, injury or activity was partially or totally their ‘fault.’
Some examples of back pain that may qualify for workers’ compensation include:
Acute injuries, such as strains, sprains, or fractures that occur from lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy objects.
- Chronic conditions, such as degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis, that are caused or exacerbated by repetitive motions or prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
- Injuries caused by slips, trips, or falls that occur on the job.
- Herniated discs, bulging discs, and other back injuries caused by a sudden impact or trauma.
It’s important to note that each case is different, and the specific circumstances will be considered when determining if back pain is covered under workers’ compensation. Extensive medical documentation, such as diagnosis from a doctor and specialists, is typically required to support a workers’ compensation claim for back pain.
What Back Types of Back Pain Do Not Qualify for Workers Compensation?
Not all types of back pain will qualify for workers’ compensation. Some examples of back pain that may not qualify include:
- Pre-existing conditions that are not related to the job or that existed before the employee started working for the company.
- Injuries or conditions that occur outside of the workplace or during non-work-related activities.
- Back pain caused by natural degeneration, such as aging or normal wear and tear on the spine.
- Back pain caused by a non-work-related medical condition, such as a herniated disc caused by obesity.
- Back pain that is caused by a psychological condition, such as stress, unless it can be proven that the stress is work-related.
Even if an employee’s back pain does not qualify for workers’ compensation, however, they may be eligible for other types of disability benefits or compensation. Our experienced Long Beach, CA workers compensation, retirement and disability attorneys can go over all of your benefit options with you.
Workers Compensation for Back Pain with a Pre-Existing Injury
It is possible for an employee to collect workers’ compensation for back pain if the job has aggravated a pre-existing injury. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, the employee must be able to prove that the work-related activity was a significant contributing factor to the aggravation of their pre-existing injury. This means that the employee’s job duties must have worsened the pre-existing injury more than what would have been expected with normal aging or the natural progression of the condition.
It’s important to note, however, that a pre-existing injury makes collecting workers compensation much harder for back pain. The employer may contest the claim, arguing that the work-related activity was not a significant contributing factor. Therefore, it is important for the employee to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can submit the necessary documentation of the pre-existing injury and how the job duties have worsened it.
Workers Compensation for Back Pain | Long Beach Attorneys
Having an experienced attorney can help an employee get better results in a workers’ compensation case for a ‘subjective’ condition such as back pain. The attorney will be familiar with the laws and regulations regarding ‘burden of proof,’ and gathering and presenting evidence to support the claim.
An attorney may also be able to negotiate with the employer and the employer’s insurance carrier for a settlement, which can be beneficial for employees who are suffered from chronic or debilitating back pain and who have a long-term disability. An attorney can also help employees in case the employer and insurance company deny the claim, as well as appeal a decision if the claim is rejected.
If you are suffering from back pain that was caused or made worse by your workplace, consult with the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Cantrell Green in Long Beach, CA. We will help you understand your rights and options – and be by your side every step of the way to ensure you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for which you qualify.
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