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Back Injury On The Job?

There are many occupations such as nursing, food service, construction, factory jobs and truck drivers that have a higher incidence of on-the-job back injuries. These injuries may be due to:

Equipment accidents – Back injuries are common in heavy equipment accidents. These accidents, and their injuries, can be caused by faulty equipment, operator negligence, and carelessness. Exerting too much force on your back, such as by lifting or moving heavy objects, can cause injury.

Machine accidents – The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges employers to consider – and safeguard against – the wide variety of mechanical motions that present hazards: rotating parts, reciprocating arms, moving belts, meshing gears, cutting teeth and other parts that impact or shear. Repeating certain movements can lead to muscle fatigue or injury.

Scaffolding accidents – While maintaining an existing structure or building is good for economic and financial reasons, it also presents a dangerous situation for severe personal injury to occur. Scaffolding accidents can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Some are related to human error and carelessness. Others may be attributed to faulty equipment assembly or defective products. Poor posture and slouching exaggerate your back’s natural curves, which can lead to muscle fatigue and injury.

Slip-and-falls – Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents can cause serious back injuries due to unmaintained surfaces, water or oil left on the floor due to employee or employer negligence or carelessness, poor lighting, bad storage models and a range of other reasons.

If you were injured while at work, there are several steps that you must follow if you wish to receive compensation for the injury or time off from work due to the injury.

4 Important Steps Following A Back Injury At Work

Depending on the type of the injury you sustain, you should either report the injury to your superior or go to the emergency room immediately. The following is a brief outline of the steps to take after a work-related injury.

  1. Report your injury – Reporting your injury promptly will enable early investigation of what caused the injury and will help the company take appropriate safety measures to prevent other employees from suffering. It will allow you to receive the proper care you need and work adjustments according to your injury conditions. It is illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for having a job injury or illness, filing a claim, or testifying in a coworker’s workers’ compensation case (Labor Code 132a).
  2. Get emergency treatment – If you have to receive medical care due to a serious back injury, you can report the injury after obtaining medical treatment. Most employers have an industrial clinic that they refer their employees to when they are injured. You may be required to take a drug test during your examination. If your back pain does not go away on its own in a few weeks, or if your back pain recurs, consult with a medical professional as you have an injury that requires additional treatment. Treatment for back injuries in the workplace ranges from mild (applying hot and cold compresses) to extensive (surgery as a last resort).
  3. File a workers’ compensation claim – A workers’ compensation claim starts the process of finding all the benefits you may qualify for under California law. Fill out the DWC-1 form right away. Providing your employer the completed form opens your workers’ compensation case. The claims administrator responsible for handling your claim must notify you within 14 days whether your claim is accepted or whether additional investigation is needed. You may qualify for up to a certain amount of medical treatment while the claims administrator considers your claim.
  4. Seek a workers’ compensation lawyer – A lawyer can help you understand the steps to pursue the workers’ compensation you have a right to receive following a workplace injury. These benefits can pay for your medical and therapy bills out-of-pocket expenses and costs of transportation to and from treatment.

There are critical deadlines to meet and other intricate steps involved in filing a successful claim. A workers’ compensation attorney can fight for your legal rights and help you get the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for your particular case.

The Laws Governing Workers’ Compensation Claims For Back Injuries Are Complex

At Dial & Associates PC, I can help you streamline the process and guide you through the workers’ compensation system. If your employer does not learn about your injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

I have more than 35 years of experience handling work-related injury claims in Orange County, California. With many years practicing personal injury law in southern California, I will use my experience to help maximize the financial assistance to which under the law you are entitled. With my help, you do not have to worry about how you will pay for treatment or if the treatment you are receiving is proper for the injuries you have suffered. I will share my knowledge and experience with you every step of the way so you can focus on the care you are receiving and your recovery from injury.

For many years, my legal team and I have been successfully and competently handling workers’ compensation claims. My skilled team are more than willing to take your case to the litigation phase should a settlement be unattainable. I offer free consultations to injured workers and charge no fee unless I recover on your behalf. Send my office in Anaheim Hills an email or call me at 714-923-7968 to make arrangements for a free consultation today.