Back Injuries at Work
Back and spinal cord injuries happen frequently at jobsites and workplaces across Kentucky. If you have suffered a back or spine injury on the job, you likely have questions about your legal options and rights. Fortunately, there are protections in place to help you get compensation for the injuries you suffered at work.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast and Salyer, we have a team of experienced back injury lawyers ready to guide you through the complicated Kentucky workers’ compensation system. We know it takes Kentucky Courage to fight for fair workers’ compensation benefits. We have Kentucky Courage and we know you do too.
If you have suffered a serious back injury while on the job, you may not know where to turn or what to do next. Our skilled and knowledgeable Kentucky workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to walk you through the process of filing a claim. We know what benefits you are entitled to and how to seek all the compensation you deserve.
Call our office today so we can discuss your case for free.
How to Prove a Back Injury at Work
Unlike in personal injury law, under the workers’ compensation system, you don’t have to prove fault or negligence. If you injured your back while performing a work-related duty, you are entitled to recover financial compensation through workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp provides no-fault coverage for medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and disability benefits. The “no-fault” aspect means that you do not have to prove that anyone did anything wrong to cause your back injury to recover benefits. As long as your injury happened at work, you are entitled to coverage. However, the no-fault system bars you from filing a lawsuit against your employer, even if your employer was negligent.
To protect your rights to workers’ compensation, it is critical that you notify your employer of your back injury as soon as possible after it happens. You could be barred from coverage if you wait too long to provide notice.
Workers’ Comp Benefits During Recovery
If you suffered a workplace back injury in Kentucky, you may be facing mounting piling medical bills, lost earnings, and maybe even vocational rehabilitation to learn new job skills. Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits are in place to help those who suffer job-related injuries get the financial security they need during their recovery.
Nearly all employers in Kentucky must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you hurt your back while performing your work duties, you are most likely entitled workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ compensation exists to help you deal with the financial ramifications of your back injury. Benefits include:
- Payment of your medical bills
- Replacement of lost wages
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses
- Reimbursement for the cost of travel to and from doctor’s appointments
The experienced lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer will make sure you receive the full amount of benefits you are due.
Benefits for Permanent Partial Disability
In Kentucky, all permanent partial disability (PPD) awards are based on the percentage of total body function you lost due to your back injury. These benefits are available regardless of whether you lose time from work or suffer a decrease in wages. Your ability to work could affect the amount of your benefits.
Once you reach the point where medical treatment cannot be expected to improve your condition, your doctor will classify your condition as having reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). After reaching MMI, your doctor will evaluate your permanent disabilities and assign an impairment rating. This rating is based on the percentage of total bodily function you have lost.
Benefits for Temporary Total Disability and Temporary Partial Disability
If you suffer a back injury that causes you to miss work or make you unable to perform your job duties, you could qualify for temporary total disability (TTD) disability benefits. These benefits are calculated as two-thirds of your weekly earnings or two-thirds of the state’s average weekly wage, whichever figure is lower.
Your progress will be closely examined by your doctor. When you reach MMI, temporary total disability payments cease.
Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) are paid out to employees who can return to work in a modified capacity. Unlike many states, Kentucky does not provide TPD benefits until you reach MMI.
Benefits for Permanent Total Disability
If your back or spinal cord injury prevents you from performing any type of work, you may qualify to receive permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. PTD benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW). As long as you are totally disabled, you will continue to receive PTD benefit up until the Social Security retirement age.
Common Back and Spine Injuries on the job
- Sciatica – An injury to the lower back that affects the sciatic nerve, which controls leg function and sensation, sciatica can cause temporary paralysis or loss of use of the legs. Extensive physical therapy may be needed to fully recover.
- Spinal stenosis – Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal cord that typically results in what is known as a “pinched nerve.” Stenosis occurs most often in the lower back. Symptoms may include tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.
- Back sprain – This injury involves torn or stretched ligaments in the back.
- Back strain – Also known as a “pulled back,” this injury includes damage to the muscles or tendons in the back.
- Spine fracture – The trauma required to fracture vertebrae typically has to be quite severe. Workplace place injuries such as falls from elevated heights or blunt force trauma may result in a spine fracture. Compression fractures usually occur in the mid or lower back. Some occur at the junction between the mid and lower back.
- Herniated disc – Also referred to as a “ruptured” or “slipped” disc, this injury occurs when the soft tissue space in the spine breaks down, or when a vertebrae disc is moved, and the bones press on nerves. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp shooting pain. Other symptoms include muscle weakness and tingling sensations.
- Cumulative trauma – This constitutes a wide range of injuries that collectively affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Cumulative trauma is typically caused by prolonged stationary postures or repetitive movements or a combination of both.
Talk to a Kentucky Workers’ Comp Back Injury Lawyer Today
If you hurt your back on the job, contact the experienced Kentucky worker’s compensation attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer. We will help you seek the full benefits you need and deserve.
Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation. Put our Kentucky Courage to work for you.