Back Injury Attorney in Peoria, Illinois
There are many ways you can injure your back while you are performing your job. Whether you are white collar, blue collar, at the workplace, or on the clock somewhere else, it does not matter. If you injure your back or make an existing injury worse, you still deserve benefits under Illinois’ workers’ compensation program.
Too often, employers and their insurers try to get out of paying employees for workplace injuries. Although workers’ compensation is technically designed for employees to navigate on their own, it is rarely advisable. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be the only person on your side during this process.
For more than 30 years, I have been helping injured workers prevail in some of the most challenging workers’ compensation claims, including those stemming from back injuries. If you have a back injury at work in Peoria, Illinois, or in Caswell, Peoria, or Woodford counties, count on The Law Firm of David Hunt.
How Do Work Back Injuries Happen?
Causes of back injuries at work typically occur by force or repetition. Back injuries by force are those that occur traumatically. For example, you could lift something heavy or while you are off balance and suddenly feel pain in your back. Stretching, twisting, and reaching for something could cause sudden pain, as well as stooping or crouching to lift or maneuver.
A force injury can occur with a slip, trip, or fall on a slick surface or from a height. A motor vehicle accident while you are driving a vehicle in the course and scope of your employment could also cause a traumatic back injury.
Repetitive back injuries occur over time as you do the same motion over and over. If you have to lift something and turn or bend hundreds of times a day, or if you sit or stand in the same way throughout the workday, you might suffer a repetitive back injury.
Back injuries may also be an exacerbation of an existing condition. For example, older workers who are experiencing age-related degenerative disc issues may hasten injury due to the nature of their jobs. Or, you might have suffered a force injury in the past that recurs years later while at work.
What Are the Effects of Workplace Back Injuries?
Short-term effects of back injuries occur with many acute injuries. For example, suppose you do something that causes immediate pain in your back. If you receive the proper treatment, many such injuries will heal with rest and time or with surgery and physical therapy. If you do not receive appropriate treatment or fail to comply with a healthcare provider’s treatment plan, your short-term effects may turn into long-term ones.
Many back injuries, even force injuries, result in developing long-term effects such as chronic pain, limitation of movement, and decreased strength. Not only do you have to live with chronic back pain, but you may no longer be able to perform the duties of your employment. In that case, workers’ compensation should also cover the cost of retraining you for duties you can carry out despite any limitations.
It is extremely vital that you receive appropriate treatment for any type of workplace back injury, and that you continue receiving it until your physician attests that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI does necessarily mean you are “cured.” Rather, it is the greatest possible recovery from your injury that you can achieve.
Not only should your treatment be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, but you should receive compensation for temporary and permanent partial or full disability, depending on your injury.
What’s Involved in Filing an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you suffer an acute back injury while in the scope and agency of your job, you should report it, in writing, to your supervisor, a manager, or a human resources director within 45 days of the injury. Ideally, you should report it immediately. If you wait longer, your employer and its insurer may try to deny your claim for workers’ compensation.
This time limit also applies to repetitive motion back injuries, even if symptoms occur more gradually. As soon as you feel pain or a lack of strength or movement, report the injury in writing.
You do shoulder the burden of proving that your injury, force or repetitive, was caused by your job and occurred while you were working. Your notification of your injury, a physician’s diagnosis, and time records will be critical documents in meeting this burden.
If your employer takes no action upon report of your injury, or if its insurer denies your claim or fails to provide the benefits you should receive, you can file a workers’ compensation claim appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). You must file your claim within two years from the date the last disability payment was made by your employer or from the date the last medical bill was paid. Alternatively, you must file within three years of the date of the reported injury.
The workers’ compensation process requires evidence and has strict deadlines for taking action. Your best option for garnering fair compensation is by retaining the services of an Illinois back injury attorney. At The Law Office of David Hunt, you don’t pay us until you settle your claim.
Back Injury Attorney in Peoria, Illinois
Back injuries comprise the most common workers’ compensation claims, and they can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. You don’t need to take on your employer, its insurance company, or the IWCC alone. If you have suffered a work-related back injury in Peoria, Illinois, or the surrounding area, reach out to The Law Office of David Hunt. I’m ready to help you move forward.