Philadelphia Back and Hernia Injuries at Work Lawyer
When going to work every day, we do not anticipate getting injured while on-the-job. Regardless of what industry you work in — retail, factory, warehouse, corporate or office — injuries can and do happen.
Some occupations are dangerous by the nature of the work duties. In those jobs, injuries are foreseeable. However, in workplaces with minimal risk and dangers, employees may also be involved in work-related accidents. In all industries, back and hernia injuries are some of the most common types of injuries.
Back injuries are common. Back injuries may occur due to repetitive activity or from a single injurious event. A back injury may start as mild back pain and gradually develop into something more severe. These injuries may lead to back disorders and conditions that cause debilitating health consequences.
Back injuries can occur in the upper, mid or lower back. Back pain may indicate that a person sustained a back injury. There are two types of back pain: acute and chronic. Acute back pain occurs for a short period of time and is the most common in lower back pain. Within a few months or as soon as a few days, the acute pain resolves itself. Chronic back pain, however, may last for twelve weeks or more from the moment of injury.
Conditions that cause back pain include:
- Bulging discs
- Ruptured discs
- Muscle strain
- Ligament strain
- Spinal injuries
A hernia occurs when an internal organ or intestine pushes through an opening or tear in the muscle tissue. Depending on the hernia’s size and location, it may appear as a visible bulge pressed underneath the skin. It may also cause discomfort or pain in the abdomen. While it may not be immediately life-threatening, it can develop into a dangerous condition if left untreated.
People can develop several types of hernias. Some occur at birth or are genetic. Other types, such as hiatal hernia and ventral hernia, may occur due to a physical activity that causes stress or strain to the abdominal region.
Hiatal hernias are protrusions of the stomach up through the diaphragm and in the chest cavity. This type of hernia most commonly occurs in individuals over the age of fifty. Causes of hiatal hernias include coughing, vomiting and lifting heavy objects. Ventral hernias occur when tissue protrudes through an opening in the abdominal muscles and creates a bulge. Risk factors for ventral hernias include strenuous activity and frequently lifting or pushing heavy items. A person may experience symptoms like pain or discomfort in the abdomen, vomiting or nausea.
Back and Hernia Injuries at Work
Back and hernia injuries at work may be caused by repetitive movements such as lifting, carrying and pushing heavy objects. Bending and squatting may also place stress and strain on the back and abdomen. Many jobs require employees to perform duties that lead to back and hernia injuries.
Back injury is one of the top work-related disabilities. Over one million people in the United States experience back injuries in the workplace. Statistics show that 1 out of 5 workplace injuries are back injuries. Slips and falls in the workplace may also contribute to workplace back injuries.
Back and hernia injuries are serious. Often, they will cause employees to take time from work to recover. More than 250 million workdays are lost for back injuries.
Workplace accidents that result in back injuries may occur because of the following:
- Reaching while lifting
- Repetitive lifting
- Awkward or improper lifts pushes or pulls
- Twisting while lifting
- Bending while lifting
- Heavy lifting
Workers’ Compensation Claims
When an employee suffers a workplace or work-related injury, their exclusive remedy in Pennsylvania is to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance covering an employee’s medical care, wage compensation and disability benefits that arise for a job-related injury. Under Pennsylvania law, an employer must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage through an insurance company or self-insurance.
The injured employee may have had a back injury or hernia before their work-related accident; however, they may still be entitled to receive workers’ compensation. The accident may have worsened the pre-existing injury. Therefore, the employee must prove that the injury aggravated, accelerated, exacerbated the pre-existing condition for the injury to be eligible under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws.
The employer must immediately or soon after that notify their employer of the accident and injury. If they fail to give notice to their employer within the legal time period after the injury, they lose the ability to obtain the workers’ compensation. Giving notice to the employer may look different if the back or hernia injury gradually presented itself over an extended period. In this instance, the clock does not begin until the employee knows or should have known of their injury and its connection to their employment.
Once a back or hernia injury has been established as a workplace or work-related injury, the employee may seek and obtain workers’ compensation benefits, including lost wages and medical care. Wage compensation is a weekly payment to the injured employee while they are out of work. An employee receives a portion of their wages based on state law. Depending on the doctor’s determination of the injury’s extent, the worker may receive partial disability benefits or total disability benefits.
Partial disability benefits are paid to the employee given a partial disability status. An injured worker receives the payments until they can go back to work. The maximum period for payment is 500 weeks total, even if the weeks are not consecutive. Total disability benefits are for injured workers who cannot return to work or may never return to gainful employment.
Medical care benefits are paid for the injuries and treatment arising from the work-related injury. These benefits cover the expenses for medicine, treatment, rehabilitation and supplies. Travel expenses may be paid if the continued medical treatment must occur outside of Pennsylvania.
If you or someone you love has been injured on-the-job, reach out to an attorney right away. The attorneys at MyPhillyLawer will fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a back or hernia injury.
Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation claims are complex and time-sensitive. Handling your claim while recovering from a work-related back or hernia injury may be painful, stressful and overwhelming to do. It is best to let an experienced and knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney protect your rights. Contact MyPhillyLawyer today at (866) 920-0352for free case evaluation.