Should I Go To Work If I Have Back Pain
The first thing you should do if you have suffered a back injury is to report the claim to your supervisor or employer. Many employers are well versed in workers compensation protocols and should offer you work within your restrictions. Refusal to at least attempt the light-duty work could have a negative effect on your case.
If your employer refuses to comply with the restrictions and continued work would lead to greater pain and potential additional injuries, then it is important to let your supervisor know and contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can ensure that you receive proper medical care and that the employer is either accommodating your restrictions or paying you indemnity benefits.
Penalties For Not Returning An Injured Worker To Their Job
If an employer does not comply with the return to work obligations of the legislation, penalties will be levied by the Board. If an employer terminates an injured worker within six months from their returning to work, the employer must prove that the termination was not because of the injury or the compensation claim.
Exceptions To The General Rule
The most notable exception is where your employer has failed to maintain the mandatory Workers Compensation insurance. By failing to comply with the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act in providing insurance, the employer loses the immunity which the Workers Compensation Act grants.
Intentional acts, which are not related to work, are not covered by Workers Compensation and therefore the immunity that normally comes with Workers Compensation coverage does not apply.
An exception to immunity is provided for Sexual Harassment cases and Defamation cases.
Sometimes the employer will argue that an accident happened when the employee was not in the course and scope of employment, for example at a company sponsored social event. Such an effort by the employer to avoid Workers Compensation liability may however expose it to third party liability for negligence. It is important that you speak with experienced Workers Compensation counsel to determine whether the facts of your case would enable you to pursue a third party claim.
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Employers Do Not Have Workers Compensation Insurance
As all employers are required to have insurance:
If any employer fails to secure the payment of compensatory damages, any injured employee or his dependents may bring an action at law against such employer for damages, as if this division did not apply.37
How do you know employers do not have insurance?
Employers are required to have information posted in the workplace as to who to contact if you have a work injury.38 Also, an employee has the right to ask for the name and contact information of the workers compensation insurance carrier. The carrier will confirm that they did cover the company on the date of an injury. If not, the employee can pursue a claim through workers compensation proceedings and also sue the employer in a civil action.39
When employees sue employers in this situation, employees do not have to prove that the employers were at fault. It is employers responsibility to prove that they were not. Also, employers cannot say that the employee was partially at fault or that another employee was at fault. This is their penalty for not having workers compensation insurance.40
When an injured worker files a workers compensation claim form and the company is uninsured, a state agency, the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund, may step in and pay benefits awarded.41 This is so the employee can receive workers compensation benefits in a timely fashion.
When Will I Be Referred To A Spine Specialist
To receive treatment in the workers comp system, many patients with back injuries will initially be referred to an occupational therapy clinic. An occupational therapist or clinic will initiate the treatment, which might include medication, physical therapy, and diagnostic studies, such as an MRI or CT scan, or X-rays, Dr. Tyndall says. For many patients, that may be enough to get them back to work.
If those initial treatments fail, you may be referred to a spine specialist to finetune your treatment plan. A spine specialist may recommend additional therapy, medication, diagnostic imaging or spinal injections or surgery. Patients generally try occupational therapy for four to six weeks before theyre referred to me or the appropriate spine specialists , Dr. Tyndall says. But depending on your situation, you may be referred immediately for specialty spine care or even in six months. Much depends on your medical situation.
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If You Were Injured By A Toxic Substance
Sometimes the chemicals and other substances that workers use are toxic and cause severe injuries and illnesses. These substances can include such things as asbestos, benzene, chromium compounds, silica, and radium, but any substance that harms you could possibly be the subject of a lawsuit for a “toxic tort.”
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of toxic injuries: acute injuries are apparent immediately, while latent injuries may take years to appear. Examples of acute injuries include chemical burns and poisonings. Examples of latent injuries include cancers and lung diseases. Because of the time delay, latent injuries tend to be more difficult to prove than acute ones, but these cases are not impossible. Workers have been successful in lawsuits brought years after their exposure to the toxic substance. When a worker is injured by a toxic substance, the worker can usually sue the manufacturer of the toxic substance and any manufacturers of safety equipment that proved to be ineffective in the handling of the toxic substance.
How Do I Report A Workplace Injury In Ontario
The WSIB requires both the employee and employer to report a workplace accident. If an injury is not reported to the WSIB, no claim for compensation can be made.
An employee must file a claim within six months from the date of injury. If you have been injured or have discovered an illness, inform your employer right away and seek medical attention. Tell your employer about the extent of your injuries, as well as about any treatment you have received. You must report the injury to the WSIB if:
- You receive treatment from a health professional or
- Are unable to return to work or
- You are being paid less or are receiving fewer hours of work.
In simple terms, if you see a doctor, take time off work, or your pay is affected as a result of a workplace injury, you need to inform the WSIB. Use Form 6 to file a WSIB claim directly, or get in touch with a workplace injury lawyer.
Did you know you have options to choose a health professional and do not have to go to one prescribed by your employer.
An employer is required to investigate, record the incident in detail, and take corrective steps to prevent the same workplace injury occurring in future. An employer must report a workplace injury to the WSIB within 3 days of learning about it if:
- The employee receives treatment from a health professional or
- Takes time off work/is absent from work or
- Earns less than his or her regular pay.
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Can You Sue Your Employer For Emotional Distress
Can you sue your employer for emotional distress? Can I sue my employer for emotional distress at work? Yes. However, a workers compensation for emotional damages or distress only is very difficult to prove. Under New York workers compensation case law, psychological injuries only qualify for workers compensation benefits if they were caused by an above-average amount of stress. In other words, employees must show that they faced a greater level of stress than other employees typically face. Therefore, claims for mental stress are clearly difficult to sustain under the New York State Workers Compensation Law. The courts seem unwilling to allow claims based upon allegations of an increased workload, minor arguments, and disagreements. The workers compensation board views such allegations as part of the normal work environment.
However, the courts clearly view certain actions by the employer and co-workers as impermissible. Furthermore, if the stress, anxiety or depression arises out of truly reprehensible actions such as racial discrimination and sexual harassment, the claim will likely be sustained, particularly if the employer did little to rectify the underlying problem.
Harassed At Work: Can You Sue For Emotional Abuse
When you are harassed at work, it can make you dread every shift and put your physical and mental health at risk. But can you do anything to stop it? Can you sue for emotional abuse if harassed at work?
In this post, I will review the laws that protect employees from workplace harassment and emotional abuse. I will summarize the damages available for stress, mental health treatment, and other emotional distress, and how an employment discrimination attorney can help you be compensated for your emotional pain and suffering.
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Can I Sue My Employer After An Injury At Work
The first reaction of many employees, and on the unfounded advice of family and friends, is to want to sue after being injured on the job. It’s a natural reaction after hearing so many cases in the news. However, it’s not that simple, and your family and friends are probably not experienced attorneys or experienced lawyers.
Let’s take a more educated look at what you can do when injured at work.
All New York State employers are required to pay into workers’ compensation insurance to cover expenses for employees involved in a work-related injury. The resulting workers’ compensation benefits are calculated as a percentage of the worker’s wages. The insurance provides cash benefits and/or medical care and medical treatment for the injured employees.
In most cases, workers’ compensation insurance covers injury claims made by employees who have suffered a workplace injury. Aside from the state requirement, employers pay for insurance to offer their employees financial protection. They also want to avoid being sued. However, there are situations in the workers’ compensation system when an employee can choose to sue the employer or pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
One other possibility is a third-party claim or lawsuit. This pertains to an injury sustained while you are working but is not your employer’s fault. Instead, it’s the fault of a third party who may be responsible for damages. Some examples of third party claim situations include:
Get Help With Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Claim
In Florida, workers’ compensation claims are pursued through an administrative court system. You cannot proceed to the workersâ compensation judge , until you have first filed a petition for benefits and had the issues in the petition mediated by a neutral third party. Most cases are resolved before a workersâ compensation trial, but you should be prepared to go to court if you are unable to reach a suitable resolution beforehand. It’s not always clear whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a civil case against your employer, and making that determination often requires the expertise of a trained attorney. If you need help figuring out your next steps, consider having an experienced workersâ compensation attorney review your claim today free of charge.
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Is There A Way To Sue A Company When You Get Injured On The Job
There are two main options for suing a company when you get injured on the job. The first option is to sue the company you work for. While this typically wont be an option if you qualify for workers compensation, if you dont qualify, then you may have grounds to sue. The second option is to sue another company that is liable for your injury. This could be a property owner, tool or equipment manufacturer, or any other company that is to blame. In either case, you need to be able to prove that the company was at fault, and you will want to talk to a lawyer right away.
Exposing Employees To Dangerous And Toxic Substances
Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from undue harm and injury. They breach that duty when they negligently expose workers to unsafe working conditions, including toxic chemicals like asbestos, benzene, chromium compounds, silica, radium, and other extremely harmful substances.
In most cases, employees harmed by exposure to toxic substances can bypass the workers compensation system and sue their employers directly.
When the courts find an employer has purposely, or with gross negligence, exposed an employee to toxic substances, the injured employee may also be awarded punitive damages.
Example: Occupational Disease Caused by Asbestos Inhalation
Frank worked for a building restoration company. One of his duties was tearing down old drywall. Frank didnt know that a building where he worked was built over fifty years ago and was insulated with asbestos.
Franks employer wasnt sure if the building contained asbestos because he didnt want to pay for the test to check for it.
A year and a half later Frank began having problems breathing. A medical diagnosis revealed he suffered from asbestos poisoning related to his on-the-job exposure.
Franks attorney successfully avoided the workers compensation system and sued his employer for damages. Because of the employers gross negligence in deliberately putting his employees at risk, the court also awarded Frank punitive damages.
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No Workers Comp Insurance
Employers are mandated to provide workers comp insurance in every state but Texas . A few states also exempt some small employers from having to offer workers comp if they employ fewer than a specified number of employees, though most require it regardless of the number of people employed.
But being required to do something and actually doing it are two different things. Its not uncommon to find employers that fail to provide workers comp coverage, Berg said, either because theyre ignorant of the law or decide to flout it.
A lot of times its smaller, unsophisticated outfits, said Berg, adding that while most employers are aware of their responsibility to provide workers comp insurance, some invariably try to get away with not purchasing it.
Workers who are injured working for an uninsured employer can seek reimbursement through special state funds set up to compensate workers. But the compensation available through such funds is limited. By suing their employer, however, they can win not only the standard benefits available through workers comp but also potentially additional damages for pain and suffering, full and future lost wages, etc. Employers that fail to meet their legal requirements to carry workers comp insurance can also be hit with significant fines and penalties.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me With My Case
The workers compensation system may entitle you to many benefits, but you could run into complications when you attempt to file a claim or receive your benefits. For instance:
- Your claim may be denied or disputed by your employers workers compensation insurance carrier.
- The insurance provider may try to end your benefits before you are fully recovered.
If these or other challenges arise, we can help you take the next steps necessary to seek the benefits you need. We can file a lawsuit, prepare your case through litigation, and represent your interests against the insurance provider.
We can gather evidence of your health condition and prognoses for you to demonstrate the extent of your injury. We even collect statements from your doctors to show how you were hurt and what forms of treatments are required for you to achieve a full recovery.
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Report The Incident Promptly And In Detail
The workers comp process begins when you first report your injury to your employer or designated supervisor. If youre seriously injured and hospitalized, you may not be able to complete any accident paperwork until youre stable.
Be specific when describing your back injury. Some states, like Virginia, have workers compensation standards that exclude general back injuries or injuries from repetitive motion. If you report that you were lifting heavy objects all week and now your back is killing you, your claim may not be covered.
Regardless of your states workers comp laws, try to be as specific as possible. For example:
I was lifting a box of parts into the delivery truck right after lunch on Tuesday when I felt something pop and tear in my back on the left side near my belt line. It immediately hurt so bad I couldnt stand up straight and felt sick to my stomach.
Return Injured Construction Worker To Their Job
Employers engaged primarily in construction have slightly different guidelines when it comes to re-employment of their construction workers . According to the WSIB, when a construction worker is unable to work as a result of a work-related injury or disease, all employers have a duty to re-employ that worker, regardless of how many construction workers they employ and the workers length of employment. Office staff of a construction firm, not working at a construction site, are only eligible for re-employment if they work for an employer with at least 20 workers, and they must have been employed by the employer for at least 12 months prior to the date of his or her work-related injury or disease.
For more information on employer and employee responsibilities after a work-related injury or disease arises, contact the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. For legal assistance, consult with a lawyer.
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Proving Your Back Pain Is Work
- Signed doctors’ notes outlining your diagnosis and that your back injury is related to your job.
- Statements from co-workers who saw the accident occur or are knowledgeable about the repetitive nature of your job.
- Security footage of the accident occurring, thus proving it was work-related.
- Prescriptions and treatment plans provided by your doctor.
There are various types of back injuries those that are caused by a specific work-related event are relatively cut and dry in terms of Workers’ Compensation benefits. But those injuries caused by repetitive motions causing stress and strain are more difficult to prove as being caused by work since they appear over time, making it difficult to connect the dots in terms of the cause. Examples include numbness or tingling, aching muscles or pain radiating down the leg. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as an average Workers’ Compensation settlement for a back injury, as each case is different and dealt with on its own merits.