If you, or someone you love, has suffered due to a neck injury, you know how overwhelming the pain can be, as well as how disruptive that pain can be to your every day life.
What most people don’t know, is that the damage done to their neck isn’t always caused by a sudden accident – it could have happened over years while on the job. If your neck injury occurred because of your job, you are entitled to receive compensation through workers’ compensation.
Common Causes Of Neck Injuries
Industries where employees make the same motions over and over again have a large percentage of workers who report experiencing pain and discomfort related to neck injuries. How you sit in a chair, lift an item or even climb a ladder can affect your neck.
Delivery drivers, traveling salespersons, and others who drive regularly for their job have an increased risk of being involved in a car accident. Neck injuries such as whiplash, rotated vertebrae, fractured vertebrae, and pinched nerves are common injuries for those who have been involved in a crash.
Slip and Falls
Poor lighting, wet floors, broken floor boards, and defective handrails can all lead to a slip and fall accident. The impact of hitting the hard ground can easily cause damage to the neck.
Industries like the construction industry place workers at an increased risk of being struck by a falling object. This force of being hit by something heavy that has come from above is almost certain to cause a neck injury.
Extreme stress can cause muscles to tense. If this happens frequently over long periods of time, the tension can put everything in the neck out of alignment.
How Neck Pain Can Change Someone’s Life
The symptoms of a neck injury can vary from person to person. In most cases, the patient may experience:
- an inability to turn the head in a certain direction
- referred pain which causes pain in other locations of the body such as the shoulders, back, or legs
- difficulty sleeping
These symptoms can impact how someone lives their day to day life and the types of activities that they choose to enjoy. Many feel like there is no hope, however, even if the damage that has been done is permanent, there are treatments available which may bring victims some pain relief.
Everyone who is experiencing neck pain should be able to get the medical care that they need to live as pain free as possible. Treatments may include:
- pain medications
- physical therapy
- surgical stabilization and correction
- therapeutic ultrasound
Treatments should always be done at the direction of a medical professional.
Even though there are a wide variety of options, many people feel that they won’t be able to get the care they need because of the expense. But if your injury happened while you were at work, you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you or a loved one have been hurt at work, a workers’ compensation claim could compensate you for:
Expenses For Medical Treatments
Workers’ compensation will cover 100% of your necessary medical treatments relating to the injury you sustained on the job. There are a few rare times where a treatment may need to be pre-approved by the insurance company.Thankfully, the NY Workers’ Compensation Board has Cervical Spine Treatment Guidelines which were created so that insurance companies won’t cause a delay in the treatment process.
A fraction of your lost wages can be received if you are unable to return to work. This will go into effect once you have been away from work due to your injury for seven days or more.
Permanent Partial Disability Award and Settlement
If your condition keeps you from working for a long period of time (or you return to work and earn less due to your injury) then you may be entitled to an ongoing weekly award for a period of time or a lump sum settlement.
If you are unable to return to the type of work you did prior to the injury, the workers’ compensation insurance may help to pay for the retraining you will need to go into another field.
In the injury is so severe that the victim passes away, workers’ comp may provide certain death benefits for their loved ones.
What Should I Do If I’ve Received A Denial?
If you haven’t already consulted with a workers’ compensation attorney you should do so immediately.
Claims are frequently denied because:
- the employer disputed the claim made by saying the accident which caused the injuries didn’t happen at work or says that your injury was not the result of an accident that you were in at work
- the claim wasn’t filed correctly
- the insurance company claims that your injuries aren’t serious enough to file a workers’ comp claim
The reason for your denial will be detailed in the denial letter. An appeal of this denial can be made. There are several phases of an appeal, which is something that your attorney will discuss with you.