From A Back Attack to Back in Action: Work Comp Injury and Pain Distraction
Is your back "killing you" from work? Do you work a physical or manual labor job that requires you to bend, pull, push, climb, crawl, lift, or carry things throughout the day? If so, chances are you've had or know a co-worker who's had what I call a "back attack" - aching, soreness, popping, stretching, ripping, tearing, tingling or spasm-like sensations from performing job duties for the employer.
A "back attack" can happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes a single work place incident causes pain that doesn't seem to go away. Maybe you bent over the wrong way, you suffered a slip and fall, or you lifted something too heavy and quickly one day on the job. This is known as a "specific injury" in California workers' comp. Other times, it is the repetitive, cumulative nature of your job duties that can cause back pain and problems. Stress and strain on your back over time can accumulate and seriously impact your ability to continue to do your job. Back pain will also likely impact many, if not all, of your activities of daily living - things you do outside of work like showering, getting dressed, driving, picking up grocery bags, exercising, having sex, sleeping, etc.
From the cervical (neck area) to the thoracic spine, and all the way down to the lumbar spine, the back is the largest upper body muscle. And while injury to one's back is among the most commonly reported workers' compensation injuries, far too many injured workers in California continue to work and suffer from their back pain without saying a word to their employer. Why? Because they are afraid of retaliation from their employer for reporting the injury (unlawful), or because they cannot afford to miss work. But leaving back pain unaddressed can lead to much more serious consequences down the road and is not a gamble you can afford to take if you need to keep working your job.
For all you California workers still fearfully hiding your "back-pain secret" - I have good news. You may be entitled to temporary disability benefits while you stay home and recover from your injury. You may also be entitled to monetary compensation if your back pain or injury turns out to be a permanent disability. Medical care to cure or relieve from your injury will be covered by your employer's insurance company so you don't have to come out of your own pocket. You might even qualify for a job retraining voucher, a free computer, vocational rehabilitation, and a return-to-work supplemental check for an additional $5,000 from the state of California.
If you or a co-worker has had a "back attack" from work and are wondering what to do, let somebody take your back for once...call the Law Office of Jamie S. Adler today so a dedicated, compassionate, and seasoned workers' compensation attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve and go from having a "back attack" to being back in action.