Pain in the lower back is a commonly reported work injury, which can cause big issues if you are unable to work. As well as being painful, injuries of this nature are subtle — so physicians find it hard to diagnose the underlying cause of them.
Some jobs require workers to do lots of bending and lifting, or to remain standing for extended periods. OSHA (Occupational Safety Health and Safety Administration) reports that over 100 thousand people suffer back injuries in the workplace each year. Almost fifty percent of the days missed from work arise from sprains, strains or pain and soreness.
The Debilitating Impact of Work Related Back Injuries
Back pain is virtually impossible to escape from. The NIH (National Institute of Neurological and Stroke) reports that this type of pain is a common reason why people visit the doctor. What is more worrying is that twenty percent of people keep suffering from pain over a year after being injured.
This data makes it difficult for people who suffer back pain caused by work related injuries, to recover fully and go back to their previous jobs. In cases like these, workers’ comp lawsuits might be the only solution. If you cannot go back to your profession, due to pain in your back, the insurer might contact you about a compensation settlement. Do not forget, you are allowed to receive benefits during the period that you are off work. Nonetheless, you might want to reach a full settlement as well, if this is the best route for you financially.
Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawsuits and Your Employer
You have informed your employer about any injuries or accidents in the workplace. After you have reported this, it is the employer’s responsibility to relay these details to their insurer. The Florida employers are legally obliged to have insurance for workers’ compensation.
In Florida if you are injured at work, regardless of fault you are entitled compensation and medical expenses to be paid. If you are denied this, fired, or forced back to work injured you need to contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer.
Injuring Your Back at Work
Back injury victims have to prove that their injuries occurred at work. Do not forget, the insurance firm will check your medical history, in all likelihood, to find out whether you have experienced such problems before. If this is the case, they might reject your claim. Nonetheless, you might still pursue benefits, so ensure that you understand your rights and speak to a lawyer who understands the workers’ comp system.
Be mindful that back pain can result in other issues. Chronic sufferers of back pain might find it difficult to stand, sit, drive or sleep. This might hinder your ability to start working again, even if your employer makes accommodations. Police officers, firemen and builders frequently suffer severe back pain, rendering them partially or totally disabled.
Workers’ Comp for Disabled Employees
If measures have been implemented by your employer, to adjust your job role to allow for your injuries, but the description of your job has altered significantly, you can claim benefits. Be mindful that, to be eligible for benefits, your pain has to stop you from carrying out vital work tasks. The insurance firm will evaluate a written description of your job, to decide whether you go back to your usual employment depending on medical data. If you cannot, then they might decide that you ought to be classed as disabled.
Instead of continuing to receive workers’ comp benefits each week, you might be able to seek a one-off settlement for the injuries to your back. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach, and everyone has to weigh them up, depending on their particular requirements and the requirements of their loved ones.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Once you find out you might never go back to your job, your whole future might seem threatened. If you are thinking about pursuing a workers’ compensation lawsuit, you ought to know several facts about this process.
There are a number of advantages to seeking compensation. It might help to secure your future, financially speaking, and make you feel better off today – covering some of your daily expenses.
Insurance firms benefit from settlements.
Be aware that:
- Fast settlements are good for insurance firms — One advantage for an insurance firm is that they do not need to fret about any future claims from you. Prior to being sent your settlement, you will need to sign a release form. This confirms that the insurer is not liable for any compensation in future. Do not forget, this includes hospitalizations, surgery, medical claims, and other treatments you received for your injuries.
- Workers who are injured frequently miss out — Agreeing to a settlement prematurely could land you with an insufficient sum to fulfill your requirements. Bear in mind that, if you have long term problems, unforeseen medical fees could diminish a paltry settlement.
- Insurance firms cannot force a settlement — If an insurance firm reaches out to you, they cannot make you accept a settlement against your will, irrespective of how lucrative it appears. If an insurer informs you that they are issuing court proceedings against you, get in touch with a workers’ comp attorney.
Prior to Pursuing a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit
In the event that your insurer contacts you with an offer for workers’ compensation, this usually indicates that they are trying to draw the curtain on your case. This might occur a number of months – or even a year – after you start getting benefits. Should this happen, get in touch with a worker’s comp lawyer before you sign anything.
Here are some things you should do, prior to accepting compensation:
- Thorough medical assessment — Acquire a comprehensive medical assessment of your pain and injuries, so you are aware of your long-term outlook. Ask your physician to specify what treatments can ease your pain. Factor in any treatment costs, such as physiotherapy, pain killing drugs and possible surgery.
- Think about the needs of your loved ones — No two people have the same financial circumstances. People who own their own homes might want to get their mortgages paid off, so they do not have to pay that bill each month. A thorough assessment of your financial situation will improve your decision making.
- Effect on different sources of income — If you receive Social Security Disability in addition to workers’ comp, a one-off settlement might affect those payments. Make sure you completely understand the ramifications of accepting a workers’ comp settlement offer.
Talk to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about workers’ comp settlements, prior to accepting any offers. You should work with a lawyer who can calculate a suitable settlement, based on your finances, your age and the severity of your back pain or other injuries.
The Benefits of Hiring a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Of course, if you were out of work for an extended period, you might be extremely worried about your finances. It is only natural that you might become stressed, when you know, you cannot return to employment. Now, you need to decide how to proceed going forward — in future, your workers’ comp payments — and maybe your disability benefits — might be your sole source of income. For this reason, many injury sufferers opt to pursue claims.
A settlement can be advantageous for you. It enables you to calculate precisely how much cash you have to survive on each month, and how much you can invest and withdraw. This will make you feel more financially organized. Nonetheless, if your settlement is too low, you might face a broad range of financial obstacles.
Florida Workers Comp and Back Injuries — Final Thoughts
Consider several factors, prior to seeking or accepting a workers’ comp settlement. A good way to ensure you receive the highest possible sum, depending on your injuries, medical care requirements and family circumstances, is to contact a lawyer straightaway.
Do not forget, an insurer is unlikely to offer you their highest amount immediately. They calculate a standard benchmark that indicates what a typical settlement is for particular injuries – and this will determine their initial offer to you. Nonetheless, they might not factor in other considerations, like your future treatment requirements, your financial situation, or your age.
Insurance firms have attorneys to safeguard them and advise them, so you should work with a knowledgeable workers’ comp settlement lawyer. This way, you will not be exploited and will get the highest possible amount for your injuries.