Back injuries are debilitating. Anyone who has suffered with severe or chronic back pain can describe how painful it can be and how difficult it can be to do even simple tasks. If you suffered a back injury like a herniated disc at work, you might wonder if your employer would have to cover your expenses. The answer can vary based on the situation, but to find out for sure, consider speaking with a lawyer who can help you determine if your employer’s workers’ compensation policy applies and help you get benefits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance that nearly all employers must carry. This insurance is meant to provide benefits to workers injured on the job. As long as you do not intentionally injure yourself, you will probably qualify for benefits.
When spinal discs are damaged, the fluid inside them can leak and even burst, causing serious damage and pain in your back. A herniated disc occurs when the inner cartilage in your spine pushes against and possibly through the outer layer.
This is an incredibly painful injury and one of the most common back injuries. It is often caused by:
- Car accidents
- Improper lifting
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you get injured at work, you need to let your supervisor know as soon as possible. They will need to complete paperwork documenting the incident and let their workers’ compensation insurer know an accident happened.
While a workers’ compensation claim can be more straightforward than a personal injury claim, you are also limited in the amount of compensation you can recover. Workers’ compensation only covers your medical bills and lost wages.
You also need to file your workers’ compensation claim soon after you injury, in some cases as little as two weeks. You may need to review your employer’s policy to determine how much time you have to file your claim. To file a claim and give it the best chance of approval, you will need to include sufficient evidence of your injury, that your injury occurred at work, and medical records showing your injuries and your recovery plan. Missing even the smallest detail could lead to a swift denial by the insurance company.
Here are common reasons why an insurance company might deny your workers’ compensation claim:
- The claim was not filed in a timely manner or exceeded the statute of limitations.
- The injury was not serious enough.
- There is a lack of evidence that the injury happened at work.
- You had a preexisting condition.
- You intentionally injured yourself.
- You were using drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury.
If your legitimate claim is denied, you can appeal it: insurance companies cannot deny your claim without just cause. They also must provide you with a reason, in writing, for denying your claim. Your appeal may be your last chance to get benefits, so you should consider speaking with a lawyer to help you make certain that you are including all of the information you can and that you are getting the amount of money necessary to cover your expenses.
The West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC, Help You Get Benefits
A herniated disc makes it nearly impossible to work pain free and if you got that injury at work, you could be entitled to benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. To find out for sure and to get help getting the benefits you may be entitled to, speak with the West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Contact us today at 610-594-1600 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you. From our offices in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.