It can take weeks, months, or even years to recover from a work-related back injury. In the meantime, you may be unable to work because of your injury, or have a reduced ability to earn wages, which can create serious financial hardship. Fortunately, North Carolina has workers’ compensation laws which allow disabled employees to obtain benefits after suffering a job-related injury. If you recently injured your back at work in Charlotte, or if your spouse or family member is suffering from a work-related back injury, benefits may be available to you or your loved one. These benefits can help you pay for medical treatment, while additionally compensating part of your lost wages.
Don’t struggle with anxiety over medical debt when you could be entitled to workers’ compensation payments. Instead, turn to the Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm for help understanding you and your family’s options at every stage of the legal process. Led by principal attorney Martha Ramsay, Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, our aggressive legal team has more than 20 years of experience handling work back injury claims on behalf of injured workers in all types of occupations and industries, ranging from construction and healthcare to manufacturing and transportation.
To learn more about your legal options for getting workers’ compensation after a back injury at work, contact the Ramsay Law Firm online, or call our law offices right away at (704) 376-1616. Your initial consultation is completely free of charge, and we will keep your information private.
Common Back Injuries at Work
Whether your job involves typing at a desk, standing on your feet, driving a company vehicle, or performing heavy-duty physical labor, a back injury can make all types of job duties physically impossible. If the back injury occurred at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can cover various medical expenses while providing partial compensation for lost earnings and income.
Various injuries can qualify you for workers’ compensation, including the job-related aggravation existing back injuries. Some common examples of job-related back injuries that may give rise to a claim include:
- Broken spine/broken back injuries (vertebral fractures), which can also injure the spinal cord if bone fragments pinch, cut, or sever the delicate spinal nerves.
- Herniated disc injuries, also called “ruptured discs” or “slipped discs,” which occur when the spongey, fluid-filled discs between the vertebrae tear or burst open, causing the internal contents to leak. In a bulging disc injury, which is similar but less severe, the disc appears damaged and distended, but is not yet ruptured.
- Soft tissue injuries, which are injuries to the muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments of the back. Soft tissue injuries are some of the most difficult to get compensated for, because they can be difficult to demonstrate medical evidence of. It is crucial to be represented by an experienced and aggressive attorney if you sprained your back or suffered other soft tissue injuries, which are most likely to occur in the lower back, called the “lumbar” region.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI), which can cause varying levels of paralysis (paraplegia, quadriplegia/tetraplegia).
Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for a Job-Related Back Injury in NC?
With some limitations, workers’ compensation is generally available as long as the accident occurred in the scope of your employment, meaning the injury was related to your job. Benefits may be available regardless of whether the accident occurred on or off your worksite. That being said, employers and their insurance companies frequently attempt to deny valid claims, which is one of the reasons aggressive representation is so essential for disabled workers.
The first thing you should do after a work injury is seek prompt medical care, which is essential for maximizing the likelihood that your claim will be approved. If you delay seeking care, or fail to seek care, your employer or their insurance company may use the delay or lack of treatment to argue that your injuries were not serious or disabling.
Once any medical emergencies have been brought under control, you should notify your employer of the accident as soon as possible, both verbally and in writing. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days of the injury, your claim could be delayed or denied. If possible, you should also make or obtain copies of the written notice for your records.
Once your employer has been notified, he or she should handle the rest of the claims process. However, if your claim is denied, you may need to file for a hearing, which your attorney can handle while you focus on recovering. If your claim is approved, you can expect to begin receiving benefits after you have been disabled for a period of seven days.
The North Carolina rate for workers’ compensation benefits is approximately 66.66% of your pre-injury average weekly wages: for example, $366.63 for a pre-injury average weekly wage of $550. In addition to benefits that compensate lost wages, you may receive additional benefits for “reasonable” medical care costs, such as physical therapy, surgery, and medication, depending on the nature of the injury.
Charlotte Workplace Back Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Claim
When your back is seriously injured, it can be impossible to perform even the simplest of tasks, no matter what line of work you are in. However, that does not mean you have to cope with financial hardship while you are recovering from your injury. Depending on how and when your accident occurred, you could be eligible to receive benefits while you are healing, even if you will be disabled by your injury for years. Our attorneys can work to ensure that your claim is handled properly, that your rights as an employee are not violated, and that your best interests are protected as you navigate the complexities of the law.
To confidentially discuss a potential claim for a back injury at work, contact our law offices online, or call the Ramsay Law Firm at (704) 376-1616 for a free consultation. We handle back injury claims throughout Charlotte and the surrounding suburbs.