Your back forms the core of your body, giving you the support and strength to perform demanding physical tasks. However, even the strongest worker can suffer disabling back injuries on the job, such as bulging discs and herniated discs. These are immensely painful injuries that often require surgical repair, burdening the victim with huge medical costs while he or she is out of work and unable to earn income. Workers’ compensation can help pay for your medical expenses, provide disability benefits, and make up for the income you have lost as a result of your accident.
While workers’ compensation can be immensely beneficial, it is not in your best interests to file a claim without first seeking help from an experienced attorney. The laws and regulations governing workers’ compensation in North Carolina are complicated, and to make the situation even more difficult on injured workers, it is common for benefits to be delayed or claims to be unfairly denied.
Due to the many obstacles that arise in the workers’ compensation claims process, it’s important to be represented by a knowledgeable, aggressive workplace back injury lawyer in Charlotte. For a free consultation regarding your claim, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 immediately.
How Does a Herniated Disc Injury Happen at Work?
Anyone can sustain a back injury at work, but certain types of workers are at higher risk. For example, people whose jobs involve frequent heavy lifting are at increased risk of being hurt. Types of workers at heightened risk of a job-related back injury, such as a herniated disc, include:
- Construction Workers
- Furniture Movers
- General Laborers
- Lumber Yard Workers
- Retail Stock Associates
- Warehouse Workers/Stock Clerks
While heavy lifting is the most obvious culprit, it isn’t the only cause of work-related back injuries. Other common causes of back injuries in the workplace or on the job include:
- Auto Accidents
- Being Struck by Objects
- Broken/Defective Industrial Equipment
- Falls from Heights
- Inadequate Training
- Slip and Fall Accidents
One of the most common types of workplace back injuries is called a “herniated disc.” Some people use the terms “herniated disc” and “bulging disc” interchangeably, but this is not medically accurate.
A small, spongy cushion called a “disc” is located between each of the vertebrae in your spinal column (“backbone”). The purpose of these spinal discs, which are filled with fluid, is to function like shock absorbers.
When your back is seriously injured by overexertion, impact from a heavy object, or other causes, the discs in your spine can start to become distended or misshapen, squeezing into an unnatural position. If enough force is applied, the discs can eventually rupture or burst, causing the fluid inside to leak out. This is what is known as a “herniated disc.” Before the disc bursts, it is called a “bulging disc.”
Workers’ Compensation for Back Injuries in North Carolina
A herniated disc can cause an array of painful and unpleasant symptoms that make work difficult or completely impossible, even if the person changes to a job that involves less physical labor. These symptoms can affect many parts of the body, not just the area of the back where the injury is located. Effects of a herniated disc injury may include:
- Arm Pain
- Leg Pain
- Muscle Weakness
In milder cases, a combination of prescription medications, muscle relaxers, and/or cortisone injections may be sufficient to treat the pain. However, in severe cases, herniated discs require surgical treatment, which generally has a recovery period of at least six weeks. You may need to receive a surgical implant, or have some of your vertebrae surgically fused together for strength and stability.
Needless to say, these conditions will prevent you from working. However, you still have bills to pay and loved ones to provide for. Workers’ comp helps to bridge that financial gap by providing you with payments while you are unemployed due to your injury.
Workers’ compensation provides disability benefits, compensation for medical care, and compensation for lost income when a worker is partially or totally disabled by a herniated disc or other back injury in North Carolina. With a few exceptions, the majority of North Carolina companies provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees, including most corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs).
Depending on how and why the injury occurred, it may be appropriate for a worker to file a personal injury lawsuit after sustaining a serious back injury in the course of job-related duties. While laws generally prevent injured workers from suing their employers, bringing a lawsuit may be possible if the injury was caused by a third party, such as the manufacturer of defective equipment. If the back injury was caused by defective work tools or safety gear, the injured employee may be able to sue the product’s manufacturer or other parties. Additionally, an injured worker may have grounds to sue an employer for personal injury if the employer intentionally caused the injury.
Charlotte Workplace Heavy Lifting Injury Lawyer for Movers and Warehouse Workers
Regardless of how an injury was caused or who was at fault for the injury, workers’ compensation is generally available for job-related back injuries in Charlotte. However, getting compensated fairly can be tougher than you anticipate. After you report your injury to your employer, a number of errors by your employer or their insurer can lead to unjust claim denials, or unnecessary delays in the time it takes you to receive your benefits.
The Charlotte work herniated disc lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm can help make the process as easy and efficient as possible, while working to maximize the value of your claim. For a free consultation about your job-related back injury, contact our law offices at (877) 576-5500 today.