Do you suffer from serious back pain related to your work? If so, then you know that your job can take a toll on your body, leaving you with short and long-term medical complications that can wreak havoc on your life. Living with these injuries and illness can be tough on many levels, leaving you with not only physical and emotional limitations, but also financial hardship when you’re unable to earn a wage at a time when you need stability and resources to obtain needed medical treatment. This is where workers’ compensation benefits may come into play.
But how do you obtain workers’ compensation for a serious injury or condition related to your back? Read on to learn more.
Workers’ compensation and degenerative disc disease
While the sudden onset of a back injury is common in the workplace, not all harm caused to the back is initiated by a single event like lifting a heavy object. For many workers, repetitive stress causes degenerative disc disease, a condition where the soft, sponge-like discs between your vertebrae become inflamed, pushing on nerves. This condition can leave you with chronic pain and a lack of mobility.
Although living with degenerative disc disease can be difficult, you may be able to secure the resources needed to acquire proper medical treatment and financial stability by pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. While it might be relatively easy to succeed on one of these claims when your back injury was caused by a singular event, it can be more difficult when your condition has developed over time. This means that those who work in construction, emergency medical services, warehousing, landscaping, and trucking can struggle to recover the compensation that they desperately need to get by.
In order to strengthen your claim that your injury is due to the repetitive stress caused by your job, you may want to consider the following:
- Take notes pertaining to when your pain was first noticed, what activities seem to have caused its onset, and what sort of activities seem to exacerbate it
- Speak with your medical professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis
- Ask your physician to assess how your injuries could be related to your work duties
- Make sure that your doctor’s conclusions are thoroughly documented
- Obtain all documentation pertaining to your condition, including the cost of your treatment and your prognosis
- Try to stay away from non-work-related activities that may make your condition worse
The key here it to be thorough and gather solid evidence that directly links your injury, or its worsening, to your work.
The challenges of a repetitive stress workers’ compensation claim
Repetitive stress injuries can be difficult to prove in the workers’ compensation context, only because they develop over time, thereby leaving the door open for an insurance company to argue that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by something unrelated to your work. But you shouldn’t be daunted by these challenges. After all, your financial wellbeing and physical health could be on the line with your workers’ compensation case.
That’s why it’s imperative that you do everything you can to build a persuasive claim that leaves little room for doubt as to how your employment has contributed to your condition. If you’d like to learn more about how to make the best arguments possible under the circumstances, then consider researching this area of the law more and speaking with those who may be able to assist you.