If you’re injured at work, you should get paid workers’ compensation benefits.
Our Arizona workplace injury lawyers can explain your legal rights.
Neck and back injuries are quite common in certain professions and jobs across the state of Arizona. In fact, there are over 1 million back injuries in the workplace every year and they account for 1 in every 5 occupational injuries and illnesses. Aside from the common cold, back injuries are the single biggest reason why American employees miss work.
What’s more, back injuries often result in having to take more days off work than most other types of injuries or illnesses, radically affecting your ability to work and provide for your family.
If you’ve sustained an on-the-job neck or back injury, it’s essential that you seek legal help — in addition to getting medical treatment.
At the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski, we represent all Arizona workers with back pain and other common workplace injuries. We’ve handled complex workers’ compensation involving professional athletes, physicians and other medical professionals, construction workers, warehouse workers, truckers and others in similar professions.
Whether you’re a construction worker, professional athlete, doctor or office professional, back and neck injuries affect ALL types of workers.
Back and neck injuries are painful, but the workers’ compensation claim process doesn’t have to be.
Our team of attorneys is well-versed in Arizona workers’ compensation laws. Don’t allow your employer to mislead you about your entitlements. Instead, let our attorneys stand with you and protect your rights. We personally strive to maximize compensation for our clients, and we represent them throughout the entire claims process.
Workplace Back Injury Factors & Causes
Generally speaking, these three factors are the most common contributors to workplace back injuries: force (exerting too much force or weight on your back), repetition (repeating certain movements, like twisting or rotating your spine), and inactivity (poor posture and inadequate back support in sedentary jobs).
Specifically, back injuries that happen in the workplace are frequently caused by improper lifting technique, insufficient training, pressure from tight deadlines, sudden movements, body vibrations, lifting and twisting simultaneously, or bending over for long periods of time.
Experts estimate that as many as 80% of these injuries are connected to tasks involving manual materials handling.
Only a handful of professions (in both the private and public sector) account for the majority of back, neck and ergonomic injuries. The top occupations that suffer from these workplace injuries include:
- Truck drivers (heavy and tractor-trailer)
- Laborers and freight
- Stock and material movers
- Registered nurses and nursing assistants
- Janitors and cleaners
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
- Teacher assistants
- Correctional officers and jailers
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Neck And Back Injuries
If you or someone you know sustained an on-the-job neck or back injury, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your injuries may fall into one of the three categories below:
- Sudden. Your injuries were a result of a specific workplace-related event or accident.
- Chronic. You experienced injuries which developed over a period of time at your workplace.
- Pre-existing. Your pre-existing condition or injury was aggravated by aspects of your current job.
Whichever category your work-related back or neck injury falls into, Arizona workers’ compensation law is designed to cover the costs associated with the incident — regardless of who or what caused the accident.
If you’ve suffered a back injury at work, you are likely entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses (prescription medications, visits to physicians, medical examinations and diagnostics, physical therapy, reimbursement for travel expenses to attend medical appointments, etc.) and lost wages (missed days at work, disability, etc.).
Often, insurance companies may try to downplay how serious your neck or back injury is or attempt to prove that it wasn’t work-related. It’s essential that you obtain legal representation to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
How to Prevent Back Injuries at Work
Employers in Arizona have an obligation to provide a safe working environment that reduces risk to workers as much as possible. In addition, both employers and workers may implement basic safety practices to prevent a workplace accident from occurring in the first place — starting with these back injury prevention tips:
Safety Tips for Employers
- Make manual handling tasks easier. Help minimize the weight, range of motion, and frequency of the activity for workers. Try to avoid having workers do repetitive or sustained twisting, stretching, or leaning to one side.
- Provide essential safety equipment. Supply and train employees on how to use lift-assist devices, lift tables, and other safety equipment. Conveyors or carts should be used for horizontal motion whenever possible. Equipment should be easy to move, with handles that can be easily grasped in an upright posture.
- Optimize work spaces. Work methods and stations should be designed to minimize the distance between the person and the object being handled. Platforms and conveyors should be built at about waist height to minimize awkward postures. Make adjustments when necessary to help employees remain in a relaxed upright stance or a fully supported, seated posture. Bins should be elevated, tilted or equipped with collapsible sides to improve access.
Safety Tips for Workers
- Learn proper lifting technique. Lift with your knees and tighten your core muscles. While lifting, maintain the natural curve of your back and keep the object close to your body.
- Have a healthy lifestyle. By maintaining a healthy body weight, eating well, exercising, and reducing stress you can reduce the risk of a back injury at work. Also, work on maintaining proper posture.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Workers take pride in doing a good job on their own, but this can put unsafe strain on your back and shoulders.
- Modify your workspace. Make your workspace ideally suited for your safety and health by positioning furniture and equipment properly. Also, position tools nearby for easy access to avoid unnecessary stress on your body.
- Take a break. Listen to your body and know your limits. If you’re required to sit for long periods, periodically change your position and walk around to stretch your muscles to relieve tension.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Hurt On the Job? Get Straight Answers & Practical Advice from Experienced Arizona Workers’ Comp Attorneys
Under Arizona workers’ compensation law, injured workers only have 1 year from the date of injury to file a claim with the Industrial Commision of Arizona. The worker must also notify their employer as soon as possible after a work-related injury has occurred.
Our Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyers can ensure that the statute of limitations deadlines are not missed and give you the best possible chance of receiving maximum recovery. We can also help you calculate the full immediate and long-term costs of your back or neck injury.
At the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski, we’re ready to help provide you answers and next steps right now. We’ll fight to ensure you receive the care and compensation you deserve.
You’ll only pay if we are successful in obtaining benefits for you.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
- Hablamos español
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“Hi Bob, I sincerely hope you can forgive me for not contacting you before now. I am truly grateful for all you and your staff were able to accomplish for my family and myself. So many thanks Bob, and I pray that the Good Lord will continue to Bless You and all the ones you care for. Never doubt I will always have the highest esteem for you.” – C.N.
Mr. Wisniewski has been recognized as the premier workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona. He is the only claimants’ attorney recognized as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation.
“It costs no more to hire the best.”