Work-related injuries can sometimes happen in unique and bizarre ways; however, many injuries follow a common pattern. Falls, lifting injuries, and repetitive strain all fit into the latter category, and any of these can cause debilitating back injuries to a worker. When this happens, the injured employee may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which can include paid medical care, temporary disability payments, and possibly permanent disability payments if the injury leaves the worker with lifelong harm. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., our experienced Rockland County workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand the process of seeking benefits following an on-the-job back injury.Back Injuries On the Job
Some back injuries are temporary in nature and, with rest, light duty, and/or time off from work, will resolve without permanent disability. In these cases, the worker may still be able to have his or her medical expenses paid if they are treated by a doctor approved by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. He or she may also be entitled to temporary disability payments if the treating physician opines that he or she is unable to work for a period of time, or if light duty is required and the employer is unable to accommodate this.Permanent Impairment Can Follow a Work-Related Back Injury
Unfortunately, many back injuries result in at least some degree of permanent physical impairment to the worker. This is especially true in cases requiring surgery for a herniated lumbar or cervical disc. Although such procedures can alleviate some of the worker’s pain and suffering, there are often permanent restrictions on work-related activities such as sitting, standing, or lifting, such that the worker may never be able to return to the same type of work as he or she did pre-injury. Permanent disability benefits are designed to compensate the worker for loss of future income due to these limitations. While not a dollar for dollar award for lost earning potential, permanent partial disability or permanent total disability payments can help alleviate some of the financial devastation that might otherwise occur following a work-related back injury.
There are several steps that must be followed in order to make a claim for workers’ compensation following a back injury at work. The first step is to give notice to the employer. This must be done within a certain time period, and paperwork must be submitted to the workers’ compensation insurance company. The worker must also coordinate his or her medical care with the workers’ compensation insurance company, as there are restrictions about the medical providers for whom the company will be financially responsible. Although an injured worker is not required to have an attorney to represent him or her in a workers’ compensation case, it is highly recommended. The employer’s human resources department, the insurance company, and even the doctor’s office are usually well-versed in the rules and regulations of a New York workers’ compensation claim, much more so than an average person who has never had to deal with such matters. This can put the injured worker at a substantial disadvantage, particularly when negotiating a possible settlement of the case.Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Rockland County
If you have suffered a back injury at work and need to talk to an attorney about your legal rights, the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is available to discuss your case with you. To schedule an appointment concerning your back injury case, call us at 845-708-5900 or contact us online. You can also call Valerie's cell phone 24/7 at 845-598-8253. Please be mindful that workers’ compensation claims and other types of legal matters have strict deadlines; failing to file a timely claim can result in dismissal of a worker’s case and forfeiture of his or her legal rights, so it is important to act promptly. We represent clients throughout the Greater New York area, including Rockland County as well as Orange, Westchester, Ulster, and Dutchess Counties.