Back Injury: WHAT WORKERS COMPENSATION COVERS
A little back pain after a long tiring day at work might not be a cause for great concern. But when it becomes chronic or comes to a point where it affects your ability to do things, you should be worried.
Most people turn to home remedies to relieve back pains. Some would force themselves to work even if the pain is sometimes unbearable. But what they fail to realize is that it could be a sign of a back injury.
Not all back injuries are acquired through accidents. Some developed over time due to factors such as your posture and the nature of your job. While others are because of an injury from a previous accident that has just manifested. Fortunately, the state of Florida allows you to claim workers compensation no matter how you got your back injury. As long as it happened while you were doing your job.
Unfortunately, your employer or insurance company may give you a hard time about it. They can blame the injury on you or worse, threaten to fire you if you carry on with the workers compensation claim. It can be an uphill battle and having an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca by your side is a great advantage.
He has helped thousands of injured workers in Florida in his more than two decades of experience handling workers compensation cases. He knows the ins and outs of the state’s workers compensation law thus he knows how to best present your case too.
Top Causes of Work-Related Back Injury
Back injuries are among the top reasons behind workers compensation claims in Florida. In fact, from 2009 to 2019, a total of 91,540 workers compensation claims are due to back injuries. The top factors causing back injuries in the workplace are:
- improper lifting of heavy objects
- strain caused by repetitive movement
- rushing which causes employees to shrug off safety procedures
- inactivity at work like having to sit in an office chair for several hours straight
Reporting Your Back Injury
According to Florida law, all work-related injuries must be reported within 30 days. If it happened over time, then you must inform your employer after you had knowledge of it. Failure to do so may cause you to lose your benefits.
For injuries that developed over time, health experts want you to tell your employer or insurance provider when you feel the following:
- severe back pain that doesn’t improve with rest
- pain that travels to both legs down to your ankles
- extreme back pain coupled with unexplained weight loss
- a chronic pain that causes weakness, tingling and numbing in one or both legs
When you inform your employer, be as detailed as possible. Include information about when it happened or when you’ve known about it and any symptoms. It’s best if you do it in writing so they won’t be able to deny the report later on.
After reporting the injury, your employer should send you to a medical services provider. Unfortunately, you cannot have a doctor of your own choosing. State law requires that the treating physician must be accredited by your employer or the insurance company. This is always the case except for emergencies. Getting your own doctor might invalidate your claim for medical help.
Your employer should also report your injury to the insurance company within seven days. If they refuse to do so, you can contact the insurance provider yourself so they can determine your eligibility. Under the law, they are required to promptly deny or approve your claim.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for denying workers compensation benefits. You’ll likely have to fight for it. To do so, you will need an expert workers compensation lawyer by your side.
Workers Compensation Options
In Florida, workers compensation for back injuries depends on how severe it is and how it affects your ability to earn a living. There are three types of benefits you can apply for:
- Temporary Partial Disability – when the employee can still work but is receiving less pay than before or is never getting paid at all. Compensation for these types of cases is 80% of the difference between 80% of the employee’s average weekly wage before and after the injury.
- Temporary Total Disability – if the injury prevents an employee from doing any kind of work but is expected to recover anytime soon. Employees can receive 66.67% of their average weekly wage from before the injury. But benefits derived under this shall not be paid longer than 104 weeks.
- Permanent Partial Disability – applies to people whose injury left them partially disabled on a permanent basis. They might still be able to work but not the one they used to have or earn less than they used to. Benefits for permanent partial disability depends on an employee’s impairment rating which is given by the treating physician.
- Permanent Total Disability – Employees who lose the ability to do any type of work on a permanent basis can qualify for permanent total disability. They’ll receive 66.67% of their average weekly wage until they are 75 years old or are able to do gainful employment again.
The Florida Workers Compensation statutes force employers to provide medical benefits to injured employees. These include:
- necessary medical treatments for the employee to recover
- medical supplies
- medical tests
- physical therapy
- doctor’s visit
- mileage reimbursement for traveling to or from an accredited treating physician
If your employer fails to provide medical treatment, you may seek it yourself at the expense of your employer. You have to have made a written request for the medical treatment beforehand.
How We Can Help
As one of the leading workers compensation lawyers in Florida, we use our expertise to help you fight for what you deserve. From helping you gather the necessary documents, talking to medical experts. We negotiate a favorable amount of compensation benefits. We’ve got you covered.
Our preeminent attorney, Victor Malca, has represented thousands of injured workers in the span of his 23-year career. His extensive experience defending the rights of Florida’s workers plays to your advantage. He knows the ins and outs of the state’s workers compensation law. Those he’s helped can also attest that he takes his time to know more about his client’s medical condition. Contact us for a free consultation now.