What Should I Do If My Employer Refuses to Pay for Back Injuries?
Auto manufacturing in North Carolina is an extremely popular industry, employing approximately 400,000 workers with manufacturing jobs. Major automotive competitors have planted roots in the Tar Heel state, with more than 150 companies serving several North Carolina cities, including Charlotte.
With so many employees working in manufacturing, injuries are inevitable and occur frequently. In a study performed by the National Institutes of Health, of all the injuries in the auto manufacturing industry, they found that 40 percent of injuries were back sprains and muscle strains. Back sprains and muscle strains are responsible for nearly 70 percent of missed workdays.
Work-related Back Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set the standard for health and safety procedures of all workplaces. According to OSHA, back injuries at work are second most prevalent workplace injury and occur in several forms:
- Hernias and slipped discs;
- Muscle strains;
- Pinched nerves;
- Spinal cord damage; and
- Torn ligaments.
Your work-related back injuries may have several causes such as lifting too heavy equipment, persistent strain on back muscles and ligaments, and repetitive motions like pulling, pushing, and reaching can eventually cause your back to become weakened or injured.
Workers’ Compensation for Charlotte
Workers’ compensations laws in North Carolina covers an employee’s expenses if he or she is accidentally injured on the job, or while performing his or her regular job duties such as slipping and falling, or malfunctioning equipment. Employers with three or more employees are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees who sustain a workplace injury or occupational disease. Typically, workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills, transportation expenses, income replacement for missed workdays, and death and funeral benefits.
Technically back injuries are not accidental workplace injuries as they generally occur gradually over time (unless you suddenly pull a muscle). However, your back injuries are still covered by workers’ compensation if you can pinpoint a specific work-related activity or incident that lead to your back injury. In addition, you must have been working in the “scope of your employment” to be eligible for benefits.
Consulting a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits by your employer, but you are still suffering from work-related injuries, your next step is to contact an experienced NC workers compensation lawyer. As workers’ compensation laws vary according to state, consulting with a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer will be the first step to claiming the benefits you deserve.
If you have been denied benefits that you believe that you are entitled to, or have questions about the workers’ compensation process, contact us today!