How Can I Get Workers’ Comp for Lifting Injuries
November 3, 2021 | Personal Injury
Many workers have to lift heavy objects and pieces of equipment while they are on the job. This is especially true among workers who work in the building and construction industries. These workers, for example, might need to lift heavy tools, pieces of construction equipment, and building materials as part of their job duties. Unfortunately, working around these materials significantly increases the chances of suffering a lifting Injury while at work.
Lifting injuries do not just occur among builders and construction workers. These injuries can happen at just about any job, even one that takes place in an office setting. An office worker, for example, might injure themself when lifting a piece of equipment, such as a computer monitor, office furniture, or even office supplies.
If you have suffered a lifting injury while working at your job, you might be entitled to pursue monetary compensation and benefits through the Missouri workers’ compensation system. A skilled lawyer can review the circumstances of your workplace accident and determine if you may be eligible to file a claim.
Your attorney can help you file the claim or appeal a claim denial if you are eligible for benefits. Once your claim is moving forward, your attorney can assist you with obtaining the benefits that you need and that you deserve for your on-the-job lifting injury. Moreover, if you are in a position to file a third-party personal injury claim in your case, your attorney can assist you with that as well.
Types of Lifting Injuries
Numerous lifting injuries can occur while a worker is on the job, depending upon what the worker does for a living. Some lifting injuries are muscular sprains/strains and other types of soft tissue contusions. In some instances, the worker might even sustain a bone fracture from lifting a heavy object while on the job. Likewise, workers can sometimes suffer hernias as a result of lifting something heavy at work.
The most common lifting injuries occur to a worker’s neck or back. These injuries are widespread when a worker has to lift heavy objects while on the job and perform various job functions. For example, a construction worker or builder might throw his or her back out when lifting a heavy piece of construction equipment or building materials, such as lumber. In an office setting, a worker can suffer a neck or back injury when lifting a heavy object or piece of office equipment, such as boxes, a desk chair, or even a water cooler.
If you have suffered a lifting injury while you were at your job, you should always take certain steps. In addition to reporting the incident to your employer, you should speak with an experienced workplace injury attorney as soon as you possibly can for a consultation and advice about how best to pursue a claim arising from your accident.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Lifting Injury While on the Job
Lifting injuries can take place in any work setting, including building and construction sites, as well as in an office; if you have suffered a lifting injury while at work or any other injury while you are on the job, the first thing you should do is to report the injury to your work supervisor and/or your human resources point-of-contact person. In most instances, you will need to file an incident report about what happened and how you were injured.
In addition to reporting your lifting injury as soon as possible after it happens, you should seek immediate medical treatment for your injury. This might mean following up with a primary care doctor or treating at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Your treating healthcare provider will likely take x-rays and MRI scans to find out the full extent of your injuries. These types of scans will tell if you broke a bone as a result of lifting a heavy object or if you suffered a sprain/strain or muscular contusion, including one in your back or neck.
When you seek medical treatment, it is important that you treat continuously for your injuries and that you do not discharge yourself from a treatment facility. In addition, you should avoid long gaps in your medical treatment.
Failing to seek initial medical treatment and/or failing to show up for medical and physical therapy appointments can send the wrong message to your employer’s insurance company. Specifically, these inactions suggest that you were not all that seriously injured in the work accident or that you are not taking your medical treatment seriously.
In addition to seeking prompt and continuous medical treatment for your lifting accident, you should consult with an injury lawyer right away. Your lawyer can begin handling all of the legal aspects of your workers’ compensation claim while you concentrate on recovering from your lifting accident Injuries and getting back to work as soon as possible.
Eligibility for a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have suffered a lifting injury while you were at work, you might be eligible to pursue a claim for benefits through the Missouri workers’ compensation system. Benefits are generally available without regard to liability or fault. Therefore, you might be eligible to recover these benefits regardless of who or what caused the workplace accident.
Generally speaking, for a Missouri worker to be eligible to obtain various benefits, the worker must have suffered an illness or injury while at the job and working within the scope of his or her employment. Also, to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, a worker must be an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor.
Employees usually have set hours and are subject to more employer controls. On the other hand, independent contractors may set their fees and hours, and they typically have far more independence than an employee has. While employees are eligible to pursue workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury on the job, independent contractors are not eligible.
Suppose you have suffered a lifting injury while at work. The right attorney will determine your eligibility for pursuing benefits. Your attorney will determine the types of benefits that you might be eligible to pursue and obtain in your case.
Pursuing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits and the Available Benefits
Lifting injuries that occur while on the job can have significant and sometimes long-lasting impacts. For example, a worker might need to obtain extensive medical treatment, and he or she may not work for an extended time after the lifting accident. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system is a place to compensate injured workers who suffer lifting injuries and other illnesses/injuries while they are on the job.
The first thing that your lawyer can do for you is to file a claim through the Missouri workers’ compensation system. If the Workers’ Compensation Board determines that you did suffer an injury while on the job and while working within the scope of your employment, the insurer will likely approve your claim. You might then be eligible for a variety of benefits, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your workplace accident.
First of all, you may be eligible to recover medical benefits for all related medical treatment that you incurred following your lifting injury. In addition, you might recover a portion of your lost wages if you cannot work after you suffer your lifting injury while on the job. Finally, in some instances, you may pursue and recover a variety of permanency benefits, depending upon the extent of your overall disability.
A work injury attorney will determine your eligibility for various benefits and can help you obtain those benefits through the Missouri workers’ compensation system.
Permanency Benefits and When They’re Available Through Workers’ Comp
Sometimes, when a worker has to lift a heavy object while on the job, he or she may suffer a permanent injury. For the injured worker to recover permanency benefits from a lifting injury, a healthcare provider must be on board in the case. Specifically, the provider must examine the injured employee and prepare an independent medical evaluation or another rating report.
For there to be a finding of permanent disability, the healthcare provider must state, based upon a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the work accident victim sustained a permanent injury or disability to a specific part of his or her body, such as the neck or back. That permanency rating will translate into a certain number of weeks of compensation, depending upon the part of the body the employee injured in the occurrence. The worker might then be eligible to recover a lump sum permanency award based upon his or her average weekly wage.
A knowledgeable workplace injury attorney will determine if you are eligible for various permanency benefits. If you are, your attorney can pursue those benefits on your behalf.
Filing a Third-Party Claim Arising From Your Lifting Accident and Injuries
When a person suffers injuries while he or she is on the job and while performing a job duty, the injured worker cannot file a claim or lawsuit directly against his or her employer. That is why the Missouri state workers’ compensation system is in place. However, the work accident victim might file one or more third-party claims for his or her injuries against some other individual or entity.
For example, in the context of a lifting accident, the worker may have been carrying a piece of equipment that malfunctioned, resulting in the worker suffering an injury. In addition, a manufacturing or design defect associated with the object may have caused or contributed to the lifting injury.
In a third-party claim, the work injury victim will typically need to prove that the product manufacturer was somehow negligent under the circumstances. For example, there might have been a defect in the manufacturing process that resulted in the accident and injuries. Additionally, there might have been a safer, more practical design that the product manufacturer should utilize to make the product safer.
In a third-party claim, if the work accident victim can satisfy his or her legal burden of proof, then the worker might be entitled to recover third-party damages. For example, the work accident victim can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, inconvenience, and pain and suffering.
If there is a companion workers’ compensation case, however, and the employer’s insurer pays for some or all of the medical treatment that the injured person receives, the insurance company can assert a lien, or setoff, against any recovery that the accident victim obtains in a third-party case by way of a settlement, jury verdict, or arbitration award.
An experienced injury attorney in your area can determine if you are eligible to assert a third-party claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. If you are eligible, your attorney will zealously advocate on your behalf and work to get you the damages that you deserve in your companion third-party case.
Speak With a Work Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
Lifting injuries can occur in just about any job setting. If you have suffered a lifting injury while at work, a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney can meet with you to discuss your accident and determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and possible third-party damages in your accident case.
Remember that you may file multiple claims for benefits and compensation. If you only focus on your workers’ comp claim without exploring third-party liability, you might leave significant funds on the table. This can leave you responsible for certain losses, which you should avoid at all costs. Reaching out for legal help is the best way to ensure you receive every dollar in compensation available in your case.