What are my options if I injure my back while working at a construction site?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Back and neck injuries

For many workers, construction is a fulfilling and lucrative field of work. Some are called to this profession to work with their hands and have the reward of seeing a project to completion while others may follow in the footsteps of mentors and loved ones. Whatever brought you to this line of work, you likely know that there are many hazards that come with the job. These hazards can lead to serious injuries.

One of the more common types of injuries in this line of work are back injuries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that back injuries and musculoskeletal disorders from overexertion, repetitive motion, lifting, reaching, twisting, or falls are the most common cause of workplace injury. With this in mind, it is no surprise that accidents at a job site can result in significant back injuries, ranging from strains and sprains to fractures and spinal cord damage.

A serious injury can impact a worker’s ability to earn a living and perform daily activities. Those who find themselves injured after an accident at a construction site likely have questions.

What are usual treatments for back injuries after a construction accident?

It is important for a worker to seek medical attention after a back injury. Common treatments may include medication for pain management, physical therapy, chiropractic case, injections, and in severe cases, surgery. Workers with back injuries also often need diagnostic testing (like MRIs, CT scans, or EMG nerve tests) to assess the severity of the problem. Rehabilitation is often necessary to regain strength and mobility, and may be a lengthy process depending on the severity of the injury.

Who pays for treatment?

Workers injured while on-the-job often qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. To qualify, the worker must promptly report the injury to their employer and follow the prescribed medical treatment, documenting all visits and care received. The injured worker will need to navigate the workers’ compensation system to get their entitled benefits. This will include gathering documentation to support the claim and filling out related paperwork.

If a worker has to undergo epidural injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, laminectomy surgeries, or spine fusion surgeries, they may be off work for a lengthy period of time.  A worker is entitled to 2/3 of their wages (tax free) during any week they are off work recovering from a work injury or exposure.

Permanent back injuries

Back injuries in the construction industry are serious and can have long-lasting effects. If a back injury results in permanent work restrictions that do not allow a return to the construction field, a worker can pursue a loss of earning capacity claim.  For example, if an injured housing construction laborer has a two-level back fusion with a permanent lifting limit of only up to 20 pounds, that worker may not be able to return to their career—a devastating impact on their long-term finances.  In these situations, a worker at least has the ability to get a loss of earning capacity award under the Wisconsin worker’s compensation law.

Should you suffer a back injury on the job, consider consulting with an attorney to help guide you through the process of securing the benefits you need for your recovery and well-being.




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