Back injuries can be debilitating for workers. Employees in a variety of professions, from office workers and semi-truck drivers to factory workers may eventually develop job-related back issues.
Back injuries may start as pain or discomfort and can eventually compromise someone’s overall strength and range of motion, as well as their stamina on the job. The worker may need medical care and a leave of absence from work. When does a job-acquired back injury potentially qualify someone for workers’ compensation benefits?
When they get hurt due to overexertion
Heavy lifting has a strong association with sudden-onset back injuries. Someone attempts to lift more than they should or turns while lifting, causing immediate damage to their back. When there is an obvious precipitating incident that occurred on the clock, a worker may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to replace their wages and cover their medical treatment.
When they develop repetitive stress injuries
Not every worker with back issues hurts themselves in a specific incident. It may simply be sitting in a poorly-designed chair all day or frequently lifting heavy objects that slowly causes damage to the back. Someone with cumulative trauma or a repetitive stress injury in their back would likely qualify for workers’ compensation much like someone with a traumatic injury.
Workers’ compensation can provide full coverage for medical care, which can be very valuable for someone in need of surgery or physical therapy. Workers can often receive a portion of their lost wages if they must take time off to recover as well. Determining if a condition qualifies for workers’ compensation coverage may help employees recover physically and financially simultaneously after a back injury.