Types of work-related back injuries

The back is the part of your body that holds you upright. Many work tasks require a strong, flexible back, and an injury can severely limit what you are able…

The back is the part of your body that holds you upright. Many work tasks require a strong, flexible back, and an injury can severely limit what you are able to do. Back injuries can take a long time to recover from.

The back can get injured in a variety of ways. According to the National Institutes of Health, common forms of back injury include sprains, strains, herniated disks and fractured vertebrae.

Sprains and strains are related, but they are not the same. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, which connects bones to joints. A strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Back sprains and strains can cause pain, swelling, and immobility.

The spine is made of 26 bones called vertebrae, with soft disks providing cushioning in between. When one of these disks ruptures, it is known as herniated. The jelly-like substance leaks, irritating nearby nerves and causing sciatica or back pain. Meanwhile, a fractured vertebra can cause severe pain, curvature of the spine, numbness, weakness and difficulty walking.

Effective treatment for your back injury depends on the nature and location of where you are hurt. Minor injuries can be treated with rest and ice. More serious injuries may require medicine and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Meanwhile, you are unable to work, and may not be getting any income into the house. Rather than maxing out the credit cards to pay for your bills, workers compensation can help make sure you do not suffer financially for an on-the-job injury.

When you can’t turn to your employer after a work injury

You may have worked for your current employer for years before your accident. If it was your first time getting hurt at work, it may be a scary time, as…

You may have worked for your current employer for years before your accident. If it was your first time getting hurt at work, it may be a scary time, as you rehabilitate and hope you regain full function of your injured body part eventually.

One motivation to heal is so that you can go back to work at full capacity. Few want to be laid up any longer than they have to be. Unfortunately, this loyalty to one’s employer does not always work both ways after an on-the-job injury.

Suddenly, for many workers, their company becomes a sort of adversary. Seeking to avoid having their insurance pay a workers’ compensation claim, the employer may dispute the claim. They may say it was unrelated to the worker’s job. Or even claim the worker’s reports of injury are fraudulent.

At MHK Attorneys, we understand that you might feel alone after a workplace accident. Speaking to an attorney, and getting help with the application, can help remove that sense.

An appeal might be necessary, even when your case seems to be cut and dried. This is your chance to overcome this unfair result and get the compensation for your lost wages and medical bills that you deserve.

An injured worker should focus on getting better as much as possible. They should not have to worry about how they are going to pay for their care and help provide for their families. At least, they should have the help and support of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

21 more ex-miners diagnosed with mesothelioma

Since the use of asbestos has been significantly limited in recent years, it may be tempting to assume that mesothelioma is no longer a major issue in America. But a…

Since the use of asbestos has been significantly limited in recent years, it may be tempting to assume that mesothelioma is no longer a major issue in America. But a report of 21 new cases from a single mining region show this is not the case. Though this story is not from Pennsylvania, it should serve as a reminder that mesothelioma often lays dormant in the body for years before it emerges.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced recently that it has identified 21 new cases of mesothelioma, the deadly disease connect to asbestos exposure, out of a group of 69,000 mine workers the agency has been studying since the late 1990s. That brings the total number of cases among workers from that specific mine to 101 diagnoses since 2003.

The sickened workers all worked in the state’s iron mining industry sometime between the 1930s and 1982. The mining industry frequently used asbestos in those years. One expert noted that cases of mesothelioma are likely to continue to appear until people who were exposed at work “age out” of the population.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer found in the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue that covers most of your internal organs. Most often affecting the tissue around the lungs, mesothelioma is particularly aggressive and deadly. For many patients, a cure is not a possibility.

Though it may be a long time after exposure that the cancer appears, victims and their families may still be able to receive compensation.

Are all work injuries eligible for workers’ comp?

Workers’ compensation provides employees with critical financial benefits that workers need in the aftermath of a work accident or when work conditions contribute to an injury or illness. This employer-provided…

Workers’ compensation provides employees with critical financial benefits that workers need in the aftermath of a work accident or when work conditions contribute to an injury or illness. This employer-provided insurance is intended to help cover costs associated with an employee’s medical bills and lost wages.

Most employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry this type of insurance, and many are happy to have it because it also shields them from being sued by employees. This means that workers are generally able to secure financial benefits without having to go through a lengthy court process or prove that any party was negligent. However, there are some factors that could exclude a worker from being eligible for coverage.

According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, benefits may be denied if a person suffered injuries in at least a few different situations.

  • If it is determined that an injury or illness was not suffered in the course of a person’s employment, an application for benefits may be denied.
  • If a worker was injured while intoxicated, he or she may be ineligible for compensation.
  • If the worker was engaged in reckless behaviors that illustrate indifference toward danger, compensation may not be available.

While many claims for compensation can be fairly straightforward, there are situations when insurance companies deny benefits for certain reasons, including those mentioned above. There are also times when an employer will try to dissuade a worker from filing a workers’ compensation claim, so it can be crucial to remember that employees have the right to work with an attorney to understand their options to pursue benefits.

Suffering a work-related injury or illness can be stressful enough without also having to be concerned about how to navigate the process of pursuing benefits. With the guidance and support of an attorney, injured workers can stay focused on their health and recovery.

Construction worker pinned, killed by crane in accident

Construction is one of the most dangerous fields in which to work. Although the U.S. has relatively strict safety standards for construction zones, accidents still happen regularly. This is due…

Construction is one of the most dangerous fields in which to work. Although the U.S. has relatively strict safety standards for construction zones, accidents still happen regularly. This is due somewhat to the hazardous nature of the work, but also because construction companies and subcontractors do not always follow regulations.

We do not yet know the cause of a fatal construction accident from late in January. Though this tragedy did not take place in Pennsylvania, it is a typical example of the sort of incident that can cause serious injury and death at a construction site.

The victim was a 45-year-old man who was working on a high-rise residential building, six floors above the ground. He was leaning into a shaft when the elevator of a crane descended and pinned him, causing him severe injuries 60 feet in the air.

He was freed from the crane, lowered to the ground, and rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries. A spokesman for the local fire department said that despite firefighters’ training for dealing with this sort of construction accident, there was little they could do to save the victim’s life.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. This is standard procedure, and does not necessarily mean the victim’s employer caused his death due to negligence. But the investigation could reveal a lack of training or protective equipment, or other evidence that the accident might have been prevented.

Besides the shock and grief of losing a loved one in a construction accident, the family likely will face funeral expenses, medical bills and other costs. They will also have to figure out how to go on without the victim’s income. Workers’ compensation survivors’ benefits may be able to help.