by Karl Voigt
You can get workers’ compensation for a back problem that’s related to your type of work. Sometimes our clients come to us with a back injury that wasn’t caused by an actual incident at work, but rather by their job duties. They may be entitled to workers’ compensation, even if there was no real “incident”. Proving such an injury in court requires a treating doctor’s firm and well-reasoned opinion that the job duties themselves caused the diagnosis.
As you may know, the insurance company has the right to have you examined by a doctor of its choice. It is likely that this doctor will attribute your injury to the aging process rather than your job. The carrier will use this opinion against you in court.
That’s why it’s important to nail down your doctor’s opinion as to causation. It is critical to explain to your doctor in detail what those job duties are: the specific mechanics of everything you do during a work day, and how long you have been performing these duties. If the doctor opines that your diagnosis was caused by your duties, your work injury claim may be viable.
This “repetitive stress” type of work injury is akin to a WC claim for carpal tunnel syndrome. There is no actual incident that causes carpal tunnel, but it still can be considered workers’ compensation. Similarly, a back injury that was caused by repetitive stress can be found to be work-related. If it is, the insurance company is liable to pay your wage loss benefits and medical bills.