Back Injury Attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky
If you sustain an injury from an accident that wasn’t your fault—especially one that occurs at work—you typically shouldn’t be the one to bear the brunt of the expenses. Instead, you’ll want to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Some of the most common jobsite accidents occur from accidents like slipping and falling and these tend to result in back injuries. In fact, in 2020, there were roughly 3,680 work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) reported, with back, neck, and shoulders being the most common parts of the body affected. This information, provided by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, is a reminder of just how common it is to experience a back injury at work.
For help getting compensation and filing a claim, reach out to our workers’ compensation attorneys at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC. From our office in Lexington, Kentucky, we’re able to serve clients in the surrounding area including London, Georgetown, Richmond, Nicholasville, and the rest of Kentucky.
Causes of Back Injuries at Work
Back injuries are incredibly common in the workplace and are typically caused by one of three factors:
Force: When you exert force on your back by performing actions like lifting heavy objects, you increase the chance of hurting your back.
Repetition: Repetitive motions can add excessive stress onto your joints which can cause injury. Any motions that involve rotating or twisting your spine or bending your back can contribute to injury.
Inactivity: In some cases, it’s the lack of movement that causes the injury. If you have to sit or stand in the same position for a long period of time, it could lead to injuries. Even sitting at a desk all day with poor posture can result in long-term pain or injury.
Though the causes of back injuries at work may vary, the effects can cause lasting injuries and need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Effects of Back Injuries
The effects of back injuries at work can either be short or long term, but both can affect your ability to work or perform regular daily tasks.
Short-term Effects: Initial effects of a back injury may be pain and discomfort. Sometimes these injuries are classified as “acute,” meaning that the symptoms only last for a couple of days to a couple of weeks and will generally resolve on their own.
Long-term Effects: If the underlying causes of your back injury are not addressed, it can cause real long-term consequences. This is generally referred to as “chronic” back pain, meaning it lasts for 12 or more weeks even after initial medical treatment.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Kentucky?
Anytime you’re injured on the job, you should seek medical care immediately. However, after your initial healthcare needs are addressed, you’ll also need to begin the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Although your employer or HR department can help with this, it’s likely in your best interest to seek the aid of a workers’ compensation attorney as well. Most employees will be unfamiliar with this process and find it reassuring to have an outside partner to advise them on their next steps.
After receiving medical attention for your injury, you’ll notify your employer of your injury. The sooner you do this, the easier the entire process will be.
Your employer will help you fill out the preliminary paperwork to start the claims process and they may require you to be seen by a different doctor. You might be able to request to be seen by a provider of your choice, but for workers’ comp claims in general, the insurer can decide.
After you’ve been evaluated, your claim will go to an adjuster who will begin their investigation. During this time they may contact you to ask questions about the nature of your injury and how it’s limiting your ability to work. They will also want to examine all documentation related to your claim and the medical care you’ve received.
Once the investigation is complete, they’ll make a determination and either approve or deny your claim. If it’s denied, you have the ability to appeal it and your attorney can help with this. If it’s approved, you’ll receive a letter of benefits explaining how much you can expect to receive in compensation.
Expectations and Proof
Importantly, you should attend all medical appointments and follow through with all treatment plans. If you fail to do this, the insurance company will use this as evidence that your injuries aren’t serious and they may deny your claim. You should also keep copies of all paperwork and documentation to use as proof. This could include an initial accident report, testimony from coworkers who saw the accident happen, and all medical records including bills and diagnosis.
Time Limit to File
State law gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, but you should try to complete this step well before this time limit. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to gather evidence and the more likely it is your claim will be denied. If the injury was physically in the state of Kentucky, and you received temporary total disability benefits following your injury, then the two-year limit will begin on the date the benefits were terminated.
Back Injury Attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky
No one should have to go through a back injury on their own. If you’re in the Lexington, Kentucky area and want to speak with a back injury attorney, contact us at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC to discuss your options.