It should come as no surprise that back pain is among the most commonly reported work-related injury. While some instances of work-related back pain are fairly clear cut in terms of who is responsible for financial compensation (to cover current and future medical treatments), that’s not always the case. Here’s a closer look at factors that determine whether or not an employer is likely to be liable for back pain.
Determining Employer Liability
If you had preexisting back issues that you never disclosed to your employer, including any fairly recent back surgery, you may face a challenge in trying to secure workers’ compensation benefits. If, however, your back pain was under control and caused by a workplace accident, you may have a valid claim. Liability can also be based on what an employer fails to do. If, for instance, you were not given proper equipment to safely move heavy boxes, your employer may be liable.
When Back Pain Occurs at Work
Generally, employers are liable for back pain that’s a direct result of an incident in the workplace or while carrying out work-related duties, which can include working at a project work site or somewhere out in the field. If you sustain a back injury at work, you’ll need to take the following steps to seek compensation:
- File a DWC-1 form (documents the nature of the injury, how it occurred and when it occurred)
- Visit a physician (the employer will provide a list of approved primary care physicians)
- Receive a determination of the extent of your back pain (this will determine how much compensation you may be entitled to receive)
Ultimately, whether or not an employer is liable for back pain depends on what caused the pain and when it occurred. Once you completed the required form requesting compensation for your back-related injury, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation claims for further assistance with how to proceed.
If your back injury requires extensive treatment such as spinal surgery, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We specialize in insurance for multi-level artificial disc replacement, and can help you with the insurance process. Call 310-828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation for more information.