Spinal injuries can be extremely hurtful and impair one’s ability to live life as he or she is accustomed. Ordinary, everyday actions can become painful and difficult to complete. Neck and back injuries unfortunately happen at offices, factories, and workplaces across the country. When they occur, injured employees can file with their job’s workers’ compensation carrier to receive benefits. Our Memphis workers’ compensation attorneys can fight for injured Mid-South employees to recover the benefits to which they are legally entitled.Back and Neck Injuries Suffered on the Job
An employee can suffer a spinal injury at any time. Most commonly, back and neck injuries arise out of activities that involve lifting heavy objects, bending, stooping, and twisting. They may also occur in an automobile accident, a slip and fall on company grounds, or when struck by falling objects. Other times spinal injuries occur over the course of time, such as repetitive lifting, pulling, or pushing.
The human spine is divided into three major sections: cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back). Each section of the spine is made up of vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a disc (or disk), which serves as a cushions between the vertebrae and can act as shock absorbers. Tissue, known as ligaments, surrounds the spine to keep the spine in place when you move around. Of course, muscles assist us with basic tasks, including lifting, pulling, twisting, and similar movements. An injury to any part of the spine can cause pain, suffering, and difficulty performing ordinary actions and movements. Significant spinal cord damage can result in paralysis.
Some of the most common spinal injuries sustained at work include:
- Bulging Disc
- Herniated Disc
- Slipped Disc
- Pinched Nerve
- Compression Fractures
- Lumbar or Cervical Radiculopathy
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Back or Neck Strain
If you hurt your neck or back at work, you should notify your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. States like Tennessee have strict notice provisions. If a claim is not filed in a timely manner, you may not qualify for important benefits such as medical treatment, wage loss, and permanent impairment/disability. A lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation claims can make sure your claims are filed timely, before the statute of limitations expires. Further, a qualified lawyer may identify a valid third-party claim that could be asserted on your behalf with the goal of recovering maximum compensation.
When your back injury claim is accepted by the workers’ compensation carrier, you should be given a panel of doctors from which to choose to complete your medical treatment. The course of medical treatment can include doctor visits, physical therapy, diagnostic testing (MRI, etc.), injections, or even surgery. While you treat, you may be taken off of work by your treating physician. If so, you can be eligible for wage benefits to help compensate you for missed paychecks.
If your doctor recommends any of the following procedures, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in the Memphis area immediately:
- Spinal Fusion
- Epidural Steroid Injections
Neck or back surgery can lead to permanent disability. In workers’ compensation cases, disability is known as permanent impairment based on the American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines. When your doctor releases you at Maximum Medical Improvement, you may receive an impairment rating based on your condition. In spine injury workers’ compensation claims, you may be eligible for a lump sum settlement for the permanent disability you sustained.
For example, a workers’ compensation settlement can depend on permanent lifting restrictions that would render the injured worker unable to return to their employer and/or unable to return to the workforce at the same rate of pay or in their previous line of work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys regularly review medical records and impairment ratings on behalf of our injured clients. We can review the available evidence and identify whether your assigned rating seems fair and reasonable. If not, other options may be available to you, and our legal team can provide guidance, direction, and assistance throughout the claims process.Speak with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury on the job, no matter how it happened, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is governed by state law, and this area has become highly specialized in recent years. Our Memphis lawyers understand the specific legal provisions relevant to your case, and we can guide you through the process from start to finish. For a no-cost consultation with an experienced Tennessee attorney today, call Team NST at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form.