Is my employer responsible for my back injury caused by lifting at work?
Back injuries are one of the most common work related injuries.According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2015, musculoskeletal disorders , such as sprains or strains resulting from overexertion in lifting, accounted for 31 percent of the total cases for all injured workers. This includes those workers injured in South Carolina and the upstate. Workers in a variety of occupations are forced to lift everyday from manufacturing to the healthcare industry. If you have injured your back at work you are probably eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
What benefits are available for a workplace back injury?
There are three main parts to any workers’ compensation claim.
First, if you are injured at work, your employer must pay for your medical care until, at least, your doctor places you at maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is a medical term that refers to a point in time where your doctor feel that you have reached a plateau in your recovery. It does not mean that you are 100% better, it just means that the doctor feels you are as good as you are going to get.
Second, your employer must pay you for your loss time while your doctor has written you out of work. Back injuries can be especially debilitating and keep you from working. How much your employer pays you is determined by your average weekly wage for the four quarters before the quarter in which you were injured. Make sure your employer is also paying you for any second jobs you are also missing work from due to the injury. You are paid approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage; however, there is a maximum benefit per week of $806.92 for accident occurring in 2017.
Finally, after you have reached maximum medical improvement, your employer must pay you for any permanent disability you have suffered as a result of your on-the-job accident. How your permanent disability is determined is unique to each case.
Venus Poe, Esquire has been a lawyer for over 15 years. She grew up in Fountain Inn and has offices in Fountain Inn and Greenville. She works primarily with the victims of auto accidents, work-related injuries, wrongful deaths and social security disability. She can be contacted at (864) 963-0310 or fill out our online case evaluation form here.
The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should not read this article to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you may have a case.