Work-related back and neck injuries are serious.
Contact our Atlanta workers’ comp attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation.
So you’ve been injured at work and your back or neck hurts badly, yet the doctor says there’s nothing wrong and you can’t get your workers’ compensation benefits. Diagnosis and treatment of back and neck injuries vary greatly depending on the doctor.
The key in getting any treatment for these problems is finding a knowledgeable doctor.
Similarly, the key in ensuring you receive full and fair compensation for your work-related injury is by talking to a knowledgeable attorney. Back and neck injury cases are often catastrophic, which make them more complex and drawn-out.
With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the back and neck injury lawyers at Gerber & Holder know which doctors can get you the treatment you need. Those physicians are unbiased and not paid by your company. They don’t have a conflict of interest, so they’re better able to find the real cause of your back or neck injury. You may have a bulging disk, herniated or ruptured disk, sciatica, a low back strain or lumbar strain or aggravation of a previously unknown degenerative disk disease. We can help you get to the right doctor and move your workers’ compensation claim forward.
Our record for workers’ compensation spinal cord, back and neck injury claims includes significant financial recovery for cases related to:
- Industrial factory accidents
- Lifting injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Improper medical treatment
- Ordered to return to work too soon
We’ll fight for your workers’ compensation rights.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Statistics on Back and Neck Injuries in the Workplace
If you’re suffering from an acute or chronic back/neck injury, you may feel like you’re all alone in your pain. During such a difficult time, it’s important to know that there are hundreds of thousands of people in a similar situation right now all around the country. These shocking statistics about workplace back and neck injuries prove that you’re not alone!
- Back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people in their working years and afflict over 600,000 employees each year with an estimated cost of around $50 billion annually. Source
- More than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Around 80% of these injuries are associated with manual materials handling tasks. Source
- Six occupations accounted for more than 25% of ergonomic injuries: 1) heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, 2) laborers and freight, 3) stock and material movers, 4) nursing assistants and registered nurses, 5) janitors and cleaners, 6) maintenance and repair workers. Workers in the healthcare industry sustain 4.5 times more overexertion injuries than any other type of worker. Source
- Back injuries are the most common injuries in construction. In 2010, the rate of back injuries was 24.5 per 10,000 FTEs, compared to a rate of 21.4 for all industries combined. Source
- Back injuries are the most common reason for nonattendance in the general workforce, after the common cold. In the US, back disorders account for over 24% of all occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work. Source
- Up to one-third of back injuries could be prevented through a better designed job workspace. Source
- The average cost of a back injury related workers’ comp claim can be $40,000-$80,000 per employee. Source
Top 15 Back/Neck Injury Prone Occupations
- Nursing assistants
- Janitors and cleaners
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Registered nurses
- Stock clerks and order fillers
- Light truck or delivery services drivers
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Production workers
- Retail salespersons
- Maids and housekeeping cleaners
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
- First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
- Assemblers and fabricators
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011
Most Common Work-Related Back or Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries are some of the most common injuries in the workplace in Georgia. They can vary in intensity from mild discomfort to excruciating pain that prevents you from getting out of bed. Such injuries can often be blamed on insufficient training, improper lifting technique, lack of safety awareness, tight deadlines, long days and other workplace factors.
Some of the most prevalent back and neck injuries at work include:
- Bulging discs (herniated discs, ruptured discs or spinal disc herniation)
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Complex regional pain syndrome (reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD)
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
- Failed back syndrome (post-laminectomy syndrome)
- Muscle strains, sprains and subluxation (pulled back or neck muscle)
- Nerve damage
- Nerve impingement (pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy)
- Spinal disc fractures (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
- Spondylosis (spinal arthritis)
Types of Injuries Covered by Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’re injured on the job, you should know that you have certain rights, benefits and responsibilities.
Here’s a partial list of the financial recoveries we’ve secured for our spinal cord, back and neck injury clients:
What To Do: 4 Steps After a Back or Neck Injury at Work
If you suffered a back or neck injury at work, we want you to know right out of the gate that you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Georgia law. These benefits will help cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses such as transportation and therapy. However, insurance companies may try to minimize the benefits they pay you, especially if you make a mistake.
Follow these four critical steps to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your work-related injury:
- Seek medical attention. Whether you’ve suffered an acute back or neck injury due to a workplace accident or are living with chronic back pain as result of your occupation, the first thing you should do is see a doctor to diagnose the problem and begin treatment immediately. Follow the doctor’s recommendations for rehabilitation and physical therapy as this will show that you’re serious about healing.
- Report the injury to your boss. Tell your employer about the work-related injury as soon as possible. In Georgia, you have 30 days after the discovery of the injury to report it to your employer. Any delay will look suspicious and hurt your case. Be detailed when reporting your work injury and do it in writing.
- Document everything. From the moment you seek medical care for your injury and report it to your employer, you’ll start receiving lots of mail about the accident. Medical bills, credit card bills, pay stubs, letters from insurance companies, etc. — be sure to keep all documents relating to your case in one place. Your attorney will need to see this documentation later to calculate your damages & provide evidence if the case goes to trial. Which leads us to the final step…
- Talk to an attorney. Calculating the long-term costs of a serious back or neck injury is a complex process. We highly recommend you contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your legal rights and ensure you receive full compensation. Insurance companies and even your employer won’t have your back in this situation, regardless of what they say. Hiring an attorney is the only way to guarantee fair representation.
Who’s Liable for Your Injury On-the Job?
Under Georgia workers’ compensation law, an employee has the right to be compensated for a back or neck injury if work-related activities were a substantial cause of the injury. In many back and neck injury cases, controversy arises when an employer’s insurance company tries to make the claim that an injury wasn’t work-related or that the injury was a pre-existing condition.
Our attorneys will demonstrate to the insurance adjuster, or a judge, that your job caused your back or neck injury. If your injury was work-related, we can make sure the company pays for your surgery for a slipped disk. We can obtain benefits for you if you’ve suffered a pinched nerve. We’ve helped numerous workers in need of a good Georgia back or neck injury lawyer over the years, including nurses, certified nursing assistants, industrial workers and construction employees. We will fight for your rights in your case.
Contact our law firm today for your free consultation. Our back or neck injury lawyers will advocate for you if you’ve suffered a back injury and can’t return to work until you’ve fully recovered. Don’t delay.