Lifting Injuries on The Job
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly a third of work related injuries come from lifting. While lifting can cause an injury to almost any part of the body, shoulders and backs are the most victimized body parts. The injuries can range from transient strains to bulges, tears, and far more serious complications.Lifting and Pulling Can Cause Many Problems
A strain or sprain is damage to a ligament or muscle, a “soft tissue” injury. While these are generally short-term injuries, they may still prevent an employee from doing his or her job. They are also painful. Someone who stocks shelves, for example, will be limited in bending and lifting if his or her back is aching or worse, and certainly reaching will be out of the question if someone’s shoulder is hindering his or her ability to lift an arm.
No matter how serious an injury is, your Employer still should be reporting them to the workers compensation insurance company. Workers comp is obligated to pay for 60% of lost earnings, and medical bills, if the employee is out of work for more than five days. Additionally, such seemingly minor injuries can become chronic.
If the insurance company or your employer is trying to rush you back to your job before you are ready, or is perhaps trying to get you into another supposedly “light-duty” job while you heal, you should consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney. At Marcotte Law Firm we have handled thousands of such claims.Medical Issues Can get Worse
Many injuries that seem minor at first can become quite serious. Back pain attributable to a muscle injury may persist. Upon more thorough testing there may be disc involvement which can mean some degree of permanent impairment. Many times, we see shoulder “strains” turn out to involve rotator cuff tears or other tears or deterioration of bone or lining in the joint.
It’s not unusual that your doctors or therapists may not initially realize how serious your injury is. We all like to hope for the best, and “utilization review” restrictions under Workers Compensation regulations may put a damper on more aggressive care early on. Having an experienced lawyer can help you overcome these issues of inadequate treatment.
The insurance company will want to try to find pre-existing conditions to try to pay you less, but the lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm dela with these tactics all the time and know how to counter them. We also follow the Scout motto: Be Prepared. That is why, even if at first you think you have a minor injury it helps to consult an attorney. We will have the medical records on hand when a procedural move may be needed with the insurance company, and we may provide some medical direction when the “minor” injury just won’t heal.Lifting Injuries are Preventable
Hindsight is always 20/20, but you should always use care in lifting and similarly pulling. Have help. Wear a supportive brace. Use proper body mechanics. If your employer doesn’t provide a safe working environment, make sure you bring the issue up to your supervisor.
But when those measures fail and you are hurt, your back up plan should be to call us. We offer free, no obligation consultations. There is no fee unless we win.