What to do when workers comp won’t pay for a back injury

Michigan workers comp lawyer explains why back injuries are frequently disputed and how to win your case.

It is common for back injuries to be denied by insurance companies. Injuries to the back cause controversy because it is difficult to pinpoint the exact source of pain and even more difficult to prove that a work injury is the cause.

Insurance companies will deny coverage for back injuries because they don’t want to accept responsibility for such a serious injury. There is the potential for a lifetime of medical treatment and wage loss benefits.

We understand how a back injury can be a life-changing event and want you to understand your legal rights. Here is some information about back injuries and Michigan workers comp law so you can protect yourself.

How to prove you suffered a back injury at work

The best way to protect yourself is to report a back injury to your employer when it occurs. You must also seek appropriate medical care and document your symptoms. Many workers comp cases are won and lost based upon the history given to the doctor at the time of injury. Resist the urge to tough it out and don’t let your employer scare you from making a claim.

Insurance companies will tell you that your back problems are just part of the aging process.  If the insurance company doctor tells you that you simply have degenerative arthritis, be sure to get a second opinion from a doctor that you trust.

Watch out for a diagnosis of herniated disc, disc protrusion, pinched nerve, sciatica, or radiculopathy. These are often signs that something significant has happened to your lumbar spine. Your doctor will have to testify that your back problems are from a work injury and there has been a change in the underlying pathology.

Available workers comp benefits in Michigan

Back injuries can be devastating when they result in permanent work restrictions and a loss of wage earning capacity.  A person who has always done heavy work might now find themselves limited to a sit down job. The transition from one job to another can be nearly impossible without retraining or additional education. Some individuals never return to work because of chronic pain symptoms.

Michigan workers comp law provides wage loss benefits if you are disabled. You are also entitled to unlimited medical treatment without any co-pays or deductibles. If you need to be retrained, vocational rehabilitation services are available.

You may also require back surgery which could take months or years of recovery.  Common back surgeries include laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion. Even after a complete recovery from surgery, permanent restrictions may still be required.

How to get help with your back injury and workers comp claim

If you have suffered a back injury at work, you need legal representation. The law is stacked against you and is not always fair. An experienced workers comp lawyer will be happy to evaluate your case free of charge. You only pay an attorney fee if you receive workers comp benefits or a settlement.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. We will do everything possible to protect your legal rights and to make sure that you receive the most compensation available.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law (Free Book)

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by planetc1.

01/01/2012
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