The lumbar spine or lower back are susceptible to injuries while working. These injuries typically involve slipping, falling, heavy lifting, twisting, and similar work-related incidents. However, there are numerous other types of back injuries involving the lower back that may emerge over a period of time. Similar to cervical or thoracic injuries, lumbar or lower back injuries can require around 400 weeks of medical treatment. Employers, medical health care providers, and attorneys should consider injuries or pain to the lower back while at work as serious cases.
Evaluating the Disability
In Missouri, injuries to the lower back have a percentage value of 400 weeks of pay based on the workers’ compensation table, which is also called a meat chart by some medical practitioners. Laws in each of the states have assigned a specific number of weeks of disability for each part of the body.
Employers and insurance companies frequently claim that these injuries are arthritic or are the result of “degenerative change”. The physicians of employers and insurance companies will give the injury a 0 percent disability rating and indicate that the injuries were not related to the work of the employee.
Employees who experience a herniated disc on their lower back, go through a surgery and have themselves evaluated by the insurance company will often receive a 5 percent disability rating. The insurance company will claim that the injury is only worth 20 weeks of pay. However, when the 40 percent disability rating of an independent evaluator is compared with the 5 percent given by the company, the case may end up with a 25 percent rating, which will give the employee 100 weeks of disability pay. The amount earned by the employee each week will determine the actual amount the employee will receive.
It is important to with a workers’ compensation attorney who will attempt to get you compensation for back and neck injuries. A qualified professional should also be hired by the lawyer to provide an independent medical evaluation, which is also called a rating exam. A written report or deposition of a doctor should also be obtained. A deposition is a sworn statement made by an individual under oath. It can be admitted into the trial as evidence. The doctor should also be available for cross-examination by the other party in the case.
Injuries to the Head
The brain is considered to be the most important body part since it controls the actions and thoughts of a person. The workers’ compensation table in Missouri give head injuries or other injuries affecting the brain a disability rating of 400 weeks of disability payments. More often than not, people who suffer head injuries experience psychiatric problems, like depression as well as chronic problems such as headaches. These injuries should not be given the same treatment as other injuries. It is essential to consult a qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Missouri as soon as you experience a back or head injury on the job.
If you have been injured during the scope of your employment, scheduling a free consultation with a qualified Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Call (314) 361-4300.