Back injuries are often painful, life-changing, and result in very high costs.
Back injury is a rather vague term that can be used for a variety of different back problems. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these back injuries affect around 1 million workers in the US and account for nearly 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
They are painful, life-changing, and they often come attached with very high costs.
The Price of Back Injuries
Back injuries take a toll both on workers and businesses and often result in high costs all around. According to the CDC, employers pay around $1,685 per employee every year for back-related issues alone, which in total comes up to $225.8 billion across the entire nation.
The average back-related claim against an employer can pay anything between $40,000 and $80,000 according to some estimates, and that does not take into account any financial losses that may occur because of loss of productivity.
The employee who goes through these injuries may have to carry some costs as well, though these are the kinds that are much more difficult to estimate. These can be:
- Pain and suffering, which are not covered in worker’s comp claims
- Loss of quality of life
- Family impact, etc.
Unfortunately, back injuries aren’t always preventable, even if your employer offers the best working conditions and proper training to lower the risks.
What to Do If You’re Injured
First, it’s essential not to dismiss any pain in your back hoping it will go away. Back injuries aren’t always the result of a direct blow to your spine – they can even be caused by repetitive motions, such as always lifting and carrying heavy objects. So even if you did not experience an accident per se, it’s essential to get medical attention as soon as the first signs of trouble appear.
If your injury is work-related, you’ll need to notify your employer in writing and tell them you want to begin the worker’s comp process. In Missouri, your employer has the right to choose the doctor who will be treating you during the worker’s comp case, a decision often left for the insurance company to make. If you go to your own doctor first, the costs of this visit and any treatment you may have taken will likely not be reimbursed.
After notifying your employer, they will give you the name of the doctor who will treat you. This can take a few days, or you may be taken directly to this doctor if you need immediate care.
Discuss Your Case With a St. Louis Compensation Lawyer
It’s in your best interest to speak with a St. Louis worker’s compensation attorney for your back injury claim. Though not a requirement, having a lawyer by your side can ensure that your legal rights are protected and you do not end up settling for less than you are legally entitled to.
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