Will my back injury be covered by Michigan workers comp?
Frequently asked questions about back injuries, spinal cord injury and difficulties that can arise in workers compensation claims
Michigan workers compensation is designed to provide wage loss benefits and medical treatment for injuries that occur when you’re on the job. But there are some common injuries that are routinely disputed by employers and insurance companies. Below our work comp lawyers are discussing the workers compensation back injury claim.
For help now, call us at (855) 221-2667. You can also fill out our free consultation form.
- I hurt my back at work, what should I do?
- How do employers and insurance companies handle work comp spinal injuries?
- How do spinal injuries affect employees?
- Will I need surgery for my back injury?
- What happens if I suffered a herniated disc on the job?
- My doctor says my back injury isn’t work related, now what?
- I’ve been sent to an IME, now what?
Q. I hurt my back at work, what should I do?
A. It is critical that you report any injury to your employer when it happens and seek appropriate medical care. Many of these cases are won and lost based upon the history that is given at the time of injury.
You should tell your doctor how you hurt yourself at work and about any new symptoms from your back injury and other injuries.
If you have questions, consult with a Michigan workers comp lawyer. You can receive free advice that could mean the difference between a lifetime of medical care and nothing.
Q. How do employers and insurance companies handle work comp spinal injuries?
A. Some of the most difficult workers compensation cases involve injuries to the lumbar spine. It’s common for employers and insurance companies to avoid accepting responsibility for these types of injuries because of the potential for lifetime wage loss and medical treatment.
Injuries to the back cause controversy because they are hard to diagnose and treat. It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact source of pain and can be even more difficult to prove that a work injury was the cause.
This is especially true if you have a preexisting condition. You may find yourself in court having to prove that you actually got hurt.
Q. How do spinal injuries affect employees?
A. Spinal injuries can be devastating when they result in permanent 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.
This transition can be nearly impossible without proper retraining and other vocational help. Some individuals never return to work because of chronic pain. But don’t lose hope. There are other careers out there, and many ways that people with back injuries and spinal cord injuries can recover and improve.
Q. Will I need surgery for my back injury?
A. Back surgery may also be required. Recovery from back surgery can take months or years. Common surgeries include laminectomy, discectomy and fusion. These surgeries can cost over $50,000 and require extensive follow-up care.
Even after a complete recovery from surgery, work restrictions may still be required.
Q. What happens if I suffered a herniated disc on the job?
A diagnosis of a herniated disc is good evidence that you suffered a work injury. A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the cushions between the vertebrae that makes up your spine. You can suffer a herniated disc from lifting heavy objects or from bending and twisting while lifting. A herniated disc is sometimes referred to as a disc protrusion, slipped disc or ruptured disc.
A herniated disc can also irritate nerves resulting in pain, numbness and weakness in the leg. This is called radiculopathy. It’s very important to see a doctor if you develop these symptoms.
Q. My doctor says my back injury isn’t work related, now what?
A. Insurance company doctors will often tell you that your back pain is just “arthritis” or part of getting older. Many people have degenerative disc disease with little to no symptoms. You should always seek a second opinion from your own doctor who has your best interests at heart.
Q. I’ve been sent to an IME, now what?
A. Employers and insurance companies often send people to their doctors for an “independent” medical examination (IME). The law requires that you attend this medical examination or forfeit your right to workers comp benefits.
These “independent” insurance doctors are selected by your employer or a workers compensation insurance company, and they will often say that you are not as injured as you claim, in order to save the employer/insurance company money.
It is possible that your work comp benefits will be disputed based upon this report. Make sure that you’re treating with your own doctor, who has your best interests in mind.
Have questions about whether workers comp will cover your back injury?
Just because employers or insurance companies dispute back injury claims does NOT mean you should accept their decision.
Call us at (855) 221-2667, or fill out our free consultation form. The call and the advice are free. We will make sure you receive all of the benefits you’re entitled to, so you can recover from back injury.