A common workers’ compensation scenario involving a back injury goes like this:
The injured worker will feel pain in his back or spine, be directed to a Concentra, Urgent Care, or Choice Care in Atlanta or DeKalb County, and the “doctor” may dismiss the worker with a “back strain or sprain.” Hopefully, an x-ray will be done and the worker will be given some prescription medication. However, the injured worker may remain in pain. After a few days, the employee (hurt at work) would return to the industrial clinic complaining of pain. Hopefully, an MRI would done.
If the MRI scan demonstrates a disc herniation, this means that there may be a tear in the outer ring of a spinal disc. Generally, inflammation may occur and cause pain. The symptoms may depend on the level where the herniation occurred and whether it is touching a nerve. For example, a herniation in the low back may cause pain in the buttocks or down the injured worker’s legs. Treatment for back pain may include physical therapy, and potentially surgery. It is important that injured workers understand their course of treatment and options.
If the employee’s pain is bad enough that he or she is losing time from work, he or she may be entitled to income benefits under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, in addition to the medical treatment (provided at the expense of the Employer/Insurer). There also may be a permanent impairment rating issued at some point in the life of the claim.
The employee tends to feel lost between the pain level, trying to maintain their life and navigate the workers comp claim. If you find yourself or someone you know in this position, have them contact our office for a consultation. We can help so that you can focus on getting better.
If you need some advice as to your rights under the workers’ compensation system, please contact our office at Ramos & Law.