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Back Injury Attorney in Portland

Back Injuries

Back Injury at Work in Portland

Back injuries are among the most common injuries experienced by Oregon workers. While this very broad and general definition can encompass potentially hundreds of specific diagnoses, the fact remains that injuries to the back and spine are among the most common types of injuries experienced on the job.

Not all back injuries are easy to identify, so you should strongly consider working with an experienced Oregon workers’ compensation lawyer from the beginning of your case.

Common Types of Back Injuries Caused by Work Injuries in Portland

There are potentially countless specific injuries you can experience to the back. Of course, each job type and industry has certain injuries that are more prevalent based on the nature and degree of physical movements and tasks.

Here are a few of the most common back injuries that can be seen in everyone from heavy-labor positions to office workers and many others. Keep in mind these are just a few examples:

  • Falls from elevations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Hernias
  • Lumbar strain
  • Thoracic spasm

Back Injury Attorney in Portland: Symptoms of Back Injuries

It’s important to report your injury to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible after you get hurt. Not only is this a requirement for workers’ compensation, but it’s just a good idea in general to let your employer know that you’ve been hurt.

Of course, the truth is that many people don’t realize they’ve even been injured until hours or days later. This is especially true of lifting injuries or injuries due to repetitive tasks. If you experience acute onset of symptoms of pain in your back after a particularly strenuous day at work, you may want to go get checked out by a doctor.

Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain that stays the same or pulses
  • Radiating pain (starts in one place and shoots or moves to other parts of your back or extremities)
  • Throbbing pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or loss of sensation
  • Dull aches
  • Difficulty standing or sitting for long periods of time

Getting Medical Care After a Workplace Back Injury in Portland

When you are hurt on the job, your Oregon employer has a right to ask that you be treated through one of its approved medical providers. These providers generally offer reduced rates for the employer’s insurance company, so you might think of them as being “in-network” for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

On the other hand, you have the right to get a second opinion and question the employer’s doctor’s opinions. Because these doctors get so much business from insurance companies, an unfortunate bias can develop. Some providers may feel obligated to render opinions that minimize the seriousness of workers’ injuries. It also creates somewhat of a financial incentive for the doctor to diminish the value of your injury.

Treatment for Portland Workplace Back Injuries

Depending on the injury, there are a number of treatments that may be available. First, your doctor will want to do diagnostic work-ups to find out what’s wrong. These can include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • MRIs

Once your doctor has radiological evidence to review, he or she may recommend a course of treatment. In most cases, this may include:

  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain management (pain medication)
  • Steroid Injections
  • Arthroscopic procedures

If these treatments do not resolve your ongoing pain, a surgical consultation may be necessary to determine if you would benefit from surgical treatments. Many severe disc injuries may require surgery in order to recover fully. Of course, back surgery can be a very serious treatment with lasting complications to consider.

What to Expect When Filing for Workers’ Compensation After a Back Injury in Portland

When you are injured, you will first get medical attention. Then you must notify your employer as quickly as possible. Finally, you will file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you are denied, like so many others every year, do not give up. You may file a request for reconsideration with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This begins the appeals process, and it is the first step in fighting an unfair denial of benefits.

Taking Your Case to the Division of Workers’ Compensation

If you decide to move forward in the appeals process by taking your case to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, you should understand that there are strict timelines in place to move the process forward quickly.

While these are technically in place to help you get compensated faster, they often work against claimants, because they require you to analyze and process large volumes of legal and medical information under a tight deadline.

What Can a Portland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Do For Me After a Back Injury at Work?

A workplace injury is different from a car accident or a medical error, for example. A workplace injury is subject to a special set of laws that are strictly interpreted to provide quick and efficient remedies to injured workers, while protecting employers from large jury awards. The system is set up to be non-adversarial, yet unfortunately over the years it has taken on an adversarial nature. Large insurance carriers fight hard to avoid paying workers, even when the injuries are clearly due to a workplace accident.

A lawyer can assist you in properly completing the necessary paperwork, negotiating with the insurance company, representing you at hearings and evidentiary proceedings, and even advise you on finding a second opinion if you suspect your employer’s chosen provider is not being forthcoming about your injuries.

Hiring the Right Back Injury Attorney in Portland Can Make All the Difference After a Work Injury

With decades of experience handling claims and appeals for injured workers, Jodie Anne Phillips Polich has served clients throughout Oregon. In 1999, she was appointed to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board, where she served as a Board Member until returning to private practice to continue representing injured workers throughout the state. If you’ve been injured at work, put our office’s experience and dedication to work for you.

Don’t take chances or deal with insurance adjusters alone. Allow an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help you navigate the sea of laws and procedural matters that will invariably control whether your case is successful or not.

Call or contact us online at the Law Offices of Jodie Anne Phillips Polich, P.C. to learn more about how we can help you get back on the road to recovery.