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Prevalence of Work-Related Back Injuries

Written by Ankin Law Office

Back injuries, such as a herniated disc, sprain, or fractured vertebrae, continue to be one of the most common work-related injuries. In the workplace, back injuries can occur when lifting or carrying heavy objects, or due to repetitive motions.

A new study out of the University of Sydney shows that low back pain is the leading cause of ergonomics-related worker disability, with low back pain from ergonomic exposure responsible for an estimated 21.7 million disability-adjusted life years, or years of life lost, in 187 countries between the period of 1990 and 2010. In fact, the study estimates that approximately 26 percent of the population in 2010 was affected by ergonomic-related low back pain.

If a back injury prevents you from working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Injured employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers can recover the following workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident or work-related injury:

  • Medical expenses
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum payment
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, which are often paid as lump-sum payments
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits

Although injured employees are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses, back injuries can be difficult to prove since they often develop over time and are difficult to pinpoint to a specific work-related activity. Consequently, employers and their insurance companies often argue that a back injury was not caused on the job, but is attributable to some other cause, such as a slip and fall accident, car accident, or sports-related injury.

Moreover, even if the back injury can be linked to a work-related activity, employees do not always receive the benefits that they are owed in a prompt manner. If your employer or its insurance company fails to provide workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace accident, you may wish to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).

The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Ankin Law Office can assist you with the preparation of your workers’ compensation claim so that it is filed in a timely manner and includes the necessary supporting information. Additionally, because we are skilled accident and injury attorneys, we are able to assess whether you might be able to recover additional compensation by filing a third-party claim.

If you have suffered a work-related back injury, contact one of our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about how we can help you obtain maximum worker’s compensation benefits.