SAN DIEGO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FOR NECK, BACK & EXTREMITY INJURIES
Neck and back injuries can strike in an instant and may have life-long consequences. It’s crucial that San Diego workers understand their rights in relation to these serious workplace injuries.
AM I AT A HIGH RISK OF NECK OR BACK INJURIES?
Many workers in San Diego are at elevated risk of neck or back injuries. Across all categories, construction workers are most likely to become victims of workplace accidents. These can be caused by falling loads, improper trenching, collapsing scaffolds and a variety of other issues.
Those working in manufacturing or logistics should also beware. Even a few seconds of operator distraction can cause a serious accident with cranes, forklifts or other heavy devices. In and around fulfillment centers, vehicle accidents can take place without warning.
Although some industries are more dangerous than others, anyone can suffer an injury at work. Office workers who engage in the same tasks every day can develop repetitive stress injuries that often affect the neck, back and shoulders. It can take months or even years for these to develop. Back pain and herniated discs are also common.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON WORKPLACE NECK AND BACK INJURIES?
There are a few common afflictions that tend to occur in the workplace, regardless of whether you work in a lumberyard or at a desk. Below are a few of the most common workplace injuries.
If for any reason the ligaments in your neck are forced to stretch beyond their limitations, you may end up spraining your neck. A neck sprain can come from turning your head too quickly or from blunt force to the neck. Symptoms usually include neck pain and stiffness, especially when forced to move your head.
A neck strain is different from a sprain, as it is usually caused by whiplash. If the muscles in your neck are stretched or torn, you will usually have a neck strain. While the symptoms are similar to a neck sprain, there will likely be slight differences in the treatment.
BACK SPRAINS AND STRAINS
Just like the neck, the back is susceptible to strains and sprains when the ligaments or muscles in your back are pushed past their limits. Back sprains and strains can be quite serious, putting individuals out of work for weeks, if not months. Back sprains and strains cause pain with pretty much any movement you make and can also lead to huge limitations on your range of motion.
If you exert yourself to the point that you literally move your bones or cause discs to rupture, you may cause yourself to have a pinched nerve. If you repeatedly exert yourself past your limits or twist your body in an unnatural fashion, a pinched nerve may develop. A pinched nerve is exactly what it sounds like, as it is a nerve that is literally pinched by the bone or disc that sends a tingling sensation to the brain. While it may sound somewhat minor, a pinched nerve can be very painful and can actually cause your arms and legs to weaken.
SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Spinal cord injuries are always serious. If you have a dislocated or fractured spinal cord, get medical assistance immediately because these injuries may eventually lead to paralysis if not properly treated.
Also known as a ruptured disc or slipped disc, a herniated disc usually occurs when a swift and sudden movement of the neck puts unexpected pressure on the disc in your neck. This disc sits between vertebrae and the slipped disc can lead to weakness in the extremities, considerable pain, and potential numbness.
ARE ERGONOMIC NECK AND BACK PAIN ISSUES FROM REMOTE WORK COVERED?
COVID completely changed what we think of as a “workplace”. Our living rooms quickly morphed into our office, and even today, many individuals work remotely from the comforts of their homes. Injuries can still be endured while working remotely, and ergonomic neck and back issues are the most common remote work injury. Ergonomic injuries occur because of poor posture or muscle strains from sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours straight, and if you are having recurring neck or back pain, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A NECK OR BACK INJURY?
If you suffer any kind of spinal injury at work, it’s important to take action fast:
DOCUMENT YOUR INJURY IN WRITING AS SOON AS YOU ARE ABLE
Your workplace will have the appropriate forms to make an “incident report.” It’s essential you do this within 24 hours. If 48 hours or more pass without documentation, your case may be adversely affected.
SEE A DOCTOR FOR A COMPLETE MEDICAL EXAMINATION
Your employer may ask you to see a physician within the company’s insurance network. This is a very common practice, but it is important to remember that you can always seek a second opinion.
TALK TO A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY
In most cases, documenting your injury and filing your initial claim are done at the same time. However, it can take weeks to hear about the status of your claim afterwards. Professional guidance is essential.
If you can still work following your injury, your employer is obligated to make any reasonable accommodations necessary so you can continue your duties. If you cannot work, you may be entitled to significant compensation, including medical bills arising from the accident.
DOES YOUR NECK OR BACK INJURY MERIT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
If you were injured while performing your duties for your employer, odds are good that you can file for workers’ compensation in San Diego. Compensation may be possible in unusual situations, such as working from home, at a different worksite or at a client’s site. You can receive compensation for immediate medical bills, ongoing care, and even your pain and suffering.
NECK AND BACK WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ASSISTANCE
Expert help is essential for protecting your legal rights and getting the appropriate compensation in connection with your claim. Don’t try to do it all alone! Contact The Law Office of Matthew Russell today for expert legal assistance. Call (619) 544-1506.