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How to Prove a Back Injury at Work in New York

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Back pain results in over 264 million days of lost work every year in American workplaces. This is compounded by an aging workforce that increases the cost of medical care each year because they are increasingly susceptible to the impact of job injuries. Victims of debilitating back conditions as a consequence of their work duties rely on their insurance companies to work with the Worker’s Compensation Board to handle their claims against their employers.

Causes of Back Pain and Work Injuries

Falling from high places or work-related auto collisions have the potential to leave employees with life-changing injuries that are agonizing and debilitating. New York workplaces, like the rest of the United States, experiences the majority of back injury claims from repetitive job duties, such as:

  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Poor posture
  • Heavy lifting
  • Twisting
  • Over-extension of the extremities or spine

Heavy lifting traumas top the list of the most commonly received on the job injury with tho usands of worker’s compensation claims filed yearly. This is partially due to the lack of federal regulations regarding requirements for lifting in the workplace. Without these guidelines, employers must craft their own policies and safety measures to prevent these painful conditions from happening.

What to Do if You Injure Your Back at Work

Workers injured on the job have a right to apply for worker’s compensation benefits to cover several expenses that come with getting hurt:

  • Medical costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Transportation costs to and from treatment appointments
  • Therapy bills
  • Compensation of up to ⅔ of lost wages

Help qualify yourself for these funds after suffering an injury on the job, by following some of our tips to support your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately

It’s vital to seek medical treatment right away after experiencing a back injury. Let your supervisor know what has happened and visit the on-staff nurse if available. Do not attempt to tough out the pain and continue working. You risk damaging yourself further by not stopping the activity that caused the hurt. If your supervisor suggests going home and resting, you should still visit a physician right away to establish the injury and the circumstances surrounding its occurrence.

Give a Prompt and Detailed Incident Report

The moment you report your injury to your supervisor is when your worker’s compensation claim begins. You need to give a detailed explanation of what took place and how you got hurt because of it. Sometimes it isn’t possible to complete this first step right away because of incapacitation or hospitalization occurred almost immediately upon getting injured. That’s okay; you need to complete the necessary paperwork as soon as you are able. Also, take time to give a thorough explanation of what occurred leading up to you traumatizing your back.

Do Report Pre-Existing Conditions

Sometimes an employee aggravates an already existing back condition and may worry that reporting the pre-existing health issue will exclude their injury claim. This is the furthest from reality, and you need to communicate this information to your treating physician right away. Sharing this medical history will help to diagnose you accurately, especially if you haven’t suffered any symptoms of your other condition before getting injured.

What Documentation You Should Provide Workman’s Comp

Finally, make sure to collect documentation for every appointment and conversation you have with doctors, therapists, and even your employer. By gathering the following information, you will lend further credibility to your claim:

  • Witness statements
  • Doctor’s notes
  • Test results
  • Security footage
  • Medical bills
  • Receipts for transportation costs
  • Written notes or letters from your employer about your accident

Making your employer aware of your injury as soon as possible will not only get your treatment established sooner but helps your workplace become a safer environment to work.

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