Lawyer Referral Service

LRS Blog

Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Oct 1, 2015

Back injuries at work are the most common type of workplace injury, second only to hand injuries according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Most of the back injuries that do occur at the workplace happen as a result of overextension of the spine from heavy lifting or poor posture while sitting for prolonged periods of time. The results of these injuries often include:

  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Herniated, bulging or slipped discs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Lower back strain.

If you’ve sustained a back injury at work, you are entitled to worker’s compensation. Unlike car insurance claims, the worker’s compensation laws in Arizona are “no-fault,” meaning that injured workers receive compensation regardless of who is at fault for the injury. The benefits you receive are designed to pay for your medical bills and the costs associated with rehabilitation, any out-of-pocket expenses you had as a result of the injury, the costs of transportation to and from treatment for the injury and approximately two-thirds of your lost wages.

The first step to take when you’ve sustained an injury at work is to report it to your employer. The form typically used is called a DWC-1 form, which includes information about the date, time and cause of your injury. Afterwards, you’ll receive a list of approved physicians from your employer. The physician you choose is responsible for evaluating you and making any referrals to specialists, such as chiropractors or orthopedic surgeons. Your primary physician will also provide the return to work form once you’ve reached the appropriate level of MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement).

When making a claim, it’s important to make sure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. Experienced lawyers are aware of the state laws surrounding the subject and can help make sure that you recover financially from your injury while you’re recovering physically.