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What Is the Most Common Back Injury at Work?

Fri May 3rd, by Work Injury |

If you are an employee in North Carolina, it may be important for you to know your rights if you injure your back while at work. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which is critical to your financial stability after an injury prevents you from working. As an employee, you may be wondering, “What is the most common back injury at work?”

There Are Many Types of Back Injuries

There are several different types of back injuries, and the most common are:

  • Back muscle sprains and strains are possibly the most common back injuries experienced in the workplace. They can occur from lifting heavy objects, twisting while lifting, and reaching out to lift something with your arms extended. It is important that these injuries are reported immediately because they could get worse without proper care.
  • Herniated disks (also called slipped or ruptured disks) can be among the most painful of all back injuries. A herniated disk occurs when a vertebral disk is moved or displaced. The pain experienced can range from an ache to serious pain, muscle weakness, and burning or tingling sensations.
  • Breaks are also a common work-related back injury. Fractures can occur when the spinal vertebrae are broken. Such breaks often take several weeks to fully heal and may require significant time off.
  • Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious types of back injuries. They can be caused by a traumatic blow to the spine that damages the vertebrae, ligaments, disks, or the spinal cord itself. These injuries can lead to surgeries and serious medical treatment. Symptoms can include intense pain or paralysis.

There are many other Winston-Salem work-related back injuries that are important to be aware of.

How to Prove That You Have a Back Injury

You must be able to prove that your back injury happened at work. Injuries are generally considered to be work-related if they occurred while you were doing something to the benefit of your employer. The injury must have taken place during the course of your employment but not necessarily at the work site. After being injured, report the accident to your employer. You should be able to collect workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system, so you don’t need to prove that your employer caused your injuries. However, you also won’t be able to file a personal injury claim against them in most cases. While personal injury claims allow you to receive non-economic damages like pain and suffering, workers’ compensation only covers economic damages.

However, a personal injury case could be viable if a third party caused your injuries. For example, if you are a truck driver, and a manufacturer defect in the vehicle causes an accident, you may be able to hold the at-fault party liable.

With workers’ compensation, you should receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. If your family member passed away as the result of a work-related injury, you may be eligible to receive death benefits.


What Are an Employer’s Responsibilities for Back Pain?

The employer’s responsibilities for back pain in North Carolina can include creating a formal incident report of the injury. The employer should report the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. It is important to understand that employers are prohibited from interfering with an employee’s workers’ compensation claim in any way.

If you believe that your employer has violated this rule, you may want to ask a workers’ compensation attorney for help. An experienced attorney can help you explore options to hold your employer accountable.

What Happens if You Strain Your Back at Work?

If you strain your back at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Back injuries fall under a specific class of workers’ compensation claims. You should immediately report the injury to your manager or supervisor right away and see a doctor.

How Can One Tell What Type of Back Injury They Have?

A person can tell what kind of back injury they have by seeing a doctor. There are several types of back injuries, and you need to pay attention to your symptoms. Back injuries can cause a wide range of symptoms, including burning or stabbing sensations in your upper or lower back. More serious back injuries could cause extensive bruising or fractures.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Back Strain?

The time it takes a person to recover from a back strain can vary depending on several factors. In most cases, recovery time is a couple of weeks, with over 90% of people fully recovering within a month. The recovery time could also depend on your age. Generally speaking, the older you are, the longer it could take to fully recover from a strain. It is important to rest after straining your back, as allowing time to rest can help speed recovery.

Can Back Injuries Require Surgery for Improvement?

Yes, in some cases, a back injury can require surgery. This will depend on the cause of the injury and its severity. Herniated disks, spondylolisthesis, vertebral fractures, disk disease, and spinal stenosis, as well as bone spurs (bony overgrowths), can require surgery. An operation is typically a last resort, but if your injury is serious enough, it may be required.

Where to Find the Legal Support You Need

Back injuries are dangerous and can be very serious and lead to long-term problems. It is important to address these injuries promptly, especially if they occur while at work. As an injured worker, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation from your employer. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney could help you along this process to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Our law firm, M. Reid Acree, Jr., is ready and able to help you with all matters relating to workplace injuries and workers’ compensation settlements. Our legal team has a demonstrated history of helping individuals with their workers’ compensation cases. With our help, you can be assured that your case will get the legal representation required to successfully resolve your case. Contact our office today to speak with an attorney.