You may have felt it the instant it happened. Some back injuries are largely traumatic, meaning they start at a moment when someone over-exerts themselves. Improper lifting positions and trying to lift too much without help could lead to serious back injuries that cause chronic pain and limit both your range of motion and your strength.
Workers who stand all day because of their jobs or who spend much of their professional time lifting or twisting will often have an increased risk of developing back pain due to their job responsibilities. Whether you hurt yourself all at once or notice slowly increasing levels of pain and diminishing levels of strength, your back injury may affect your job performance.
Once you notice the negative impact, it may be time to ask for workers’ compensation.
Michigan employees have workplace protections
State law in Michigan requires that your employer carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You have the right to make a claim against that coverage when you get hurt in a specific incident on the job or a medical professional diagnoses you with a condition that directly relates to your employment.
A back injury affecting an industrial worker who has to lift and move heavy parts dozens of times an hour will qualify for treatment just like an injury that you incurred because someone struck you from behind with a hi-lo. The workers’ compensation insurance program in Michigan can provide you with medical coverage that will pay for all of your necessary treatment and also disability benefits. You can receive as much as two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you get back to work.
If your back injury is bad enough to force you into a different career, you may even be able to get permanent partial disability benefits to cover your lost earning potential. Those hurt so badly that they can never return to work may qualify for permanent disability benefits.
A claim can help you protect your job
Your employer doesn’t know that you are in pain unless you advise them of that fact. All they will see is that you have started to slow down or do a poor job. If you don’t advise them of your injury and ask for the appropriate accommodations, including workers’ compensation benefits and different job responsibilities, they might eventually use your performance as an excuse to terminate you.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can protect you financially and help ensure your career isn’t at risk because you hurt your back on the job.