As one of the most common job-related injuries, a back injury may entitle an employee to workers’ compensation benefits under Illinois law. Regardless of whether the injury was caused by a single accident or was a result of ongoing workplace conditions, workers have a right to pursue medical costs, wages from missed work, and disability payments from their employer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our job injury lawyers help employees from a range of backgrounds, including the construction and airline industries, pursue workers’ compensation benefits under Illinois law. As experienced Chicago back injury attorneys, we have successfully secured benefits for many workers and their families.Pursuing Compensation for a Work-Related Back Injury or Condition
If you have suffered a back injury at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Costs related to medical treatment, including out-of-pocket expenses and the costs of transportation to and from treatment, may be included in your benefits award. Additionally, any lost wages that you have incurred due to your back injury may be included in a workers’ compensation award.
Common back injuries caused at work include pinched nerves, spinal cord damage, lower back strains, and slipped discs. Employees may injure their back while twisting or overextend their spine while pulling or pushing or performing heavy lifting. Due to the severity and pain of back injuries, they often require extended medical treatment and long recovery periods.
A worker is entitled to benefits if their back injury “arises out of” and was suffered “in the course of” employment. Some workers may suffer a back injury in a single act, while others may experience back issues from repetitive motions over a longer period of time. Both acute pain and chronic pain may affect an employee's ability to work. Acute pain arises rapidly but may diminish within a few weeks. While temporary, it may nevertheless be painful. An example of acute pain includes lifting a heavy box and straining back muscles.
Chronic back pain may persist for weeks or even continue indefinitely, permanently affecting the employee’s ability to work. If the worker injured their spinal cord, they may suffer chronic back pain. Potentially physically devastating spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis and even death. Our back injury lawyers can guide Chicago residents through claims based on any of these conditions.
In terms of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, after reporting an injury to their employer, an injured worker will typically be further evaluated to determine their ability or inability to work. Back injuries often require the opinion of a specialist, such as a chiropractor or orthopedist. When they determine that the employee has reached a level of Maximum Medical Improvement, the physician may determine that the worker is capable of returning to work. It is important to follow the medical treatment prescribed for a back injury, since an injured worker may suffer another injury if they return to work too soon.
A physician who indicates that the back injury is a temporary partial disability is expressing that the worker will be able to return to their former job after recovering. In contrast, a permanent partial disability indicates that the worker may be able to return to work, but they will not be able to perform at least some of their former job duties. In other words, the employer may assign the injured employee a position that is different in order to accommodate their disability. Finally, a worker who has suffered a back injury and will not be able to return to their former job is considered to have a permanent total disability.Retain a Back Injury Attorney in the Chicago Area
Many injured workers are eager to return to work, since it is stressful to survive on partial wages. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our workers’ compensation lawyers understand the financial pressure that accompanies a job injury, particularly if you are providing for your family’s needs. By aggressively advocating for the rights of workers who have been hurt at work, our Chicago back injury lawyers can help ease the financial burdens on you. We work to pursue the full range of benefits for employees, and we have helped people throughout Illinois, including residents of Springfield, Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and other areas of Champaign, Kane, Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, and Adams Counties. Schedule a free consultation online or call us at (800) 444-1525.