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Proving Your Back Injury is Work-Related

worker with hurting backBack injuries can be quite painful and debilitating, even if the injury is relatively minor. Even a minor injury to your back can affect you for quite a while and make it difficult to work in the same capacity you did before the injury occurred.

Some people simply assume they will easily be able to obtain workers' compensation for the injury because they are certain it was caused by something they did at work, such as lifting heavy objects or having to bend over or down often.

However, proving your job caused your back injury may be a lot tougher than you think. If you have suffered a back injury on the job, contact the Fresno workers’ compensation lawyers of Berry, Smith & Bartell today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Symptoms of Back Pain

Watch for these symptoms of a back injury:

  • Aching muscles
  • Shooting pain
  • Stabbing pain
  • Pain that comes when standing, walking, or lifting things
  • Pain down your leg

If you notice the pain goes away or gets better when you recline, you could very well have a back injury.

While it is always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor, it is especially important if you experience any of the following issues:

  • Severe pain that does not improve with rest
  • Pain that goes down below the knees
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs
  • Weight loss you cannot explain

What to Do When You Feel Back Pain

As soon as you feel pain, you should seek treatment. Do not wait to see if the problem goes away and you start to feel better. Waiting to feel better could cause the injury to worsen.

Another problem with delaying treatment is that the workers’ compensation insurer can use this against you. Any delay in seeking medical treatment can be misconstrued, and the insurance company may try to claim that your back injury did not take place while you were working – they may say you were injured somewhere else, such as when you were outside of work playing sports or doing work around the house.

Report your back injury to your employer right away, as this begins the workers’ compensation process. You must provide your employer with written notice of your injury within 30 days. If you do not do so, you may not receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Claiming Your Injury is from a Preexisting Condition

Workers’ compensation insurers may claim that a back injury is actually the result of a preexisting condition. This is a trick they use to claim the injury is not work related – workers are not entitled to benefits unless their injury is work-related.

When you seek treatment for your back injury, make sure to tell your medical providers you believe the injury is work related. Tell this to any and all medical providers who treat you – they will note this in your medical records, along with their opinion about whether the injury is work-related. If doctors say your injury is related to your job it will be very difficult for the workers’ compensation insurance company or your employer to prove otherwise.

Evidence for Proving Your Injury

There are various types of evidence that can be used to prove your back injury was caused by your employment. Evidence that may be helpful includes:

  • Signed doctors’ notes stating your diagnosis and that the back injury is work-related.
  • Medical records showing the dates and duration of your treatment, such as prescribed physical therapy.
  • Testimonials from coworkers and other witnesses who saw the accident occur. Talk to anyone who was there when you suffered your injury and ask for a detailed statement about what they saw.
  • Security footage from your workplace that shows the accident taking place. Ask your employer to provide you with a copy of CCTV footage that was recorded on the date of your accident.
  • Prescriptions given by your treating physician, detailing what the medications are for and why you need them.

Contact Our Attorneys for Trusted Legal Help

If you have suffered a back injury due to your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Our Fresno workers’ compensation attorneys can review your injury and possibly help you in pursuing the benefits you deserve.

Contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about the benefits of having us represent you. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if you receive benefits.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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