What is a degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease is something that many adults face as they get older. It’s a natural process of aging, but certain tasks can aggravate the symptoms and make the condition worse. Common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include pain and numbness throughout the back and neck — sometimes to the extent that it’s impossible for a person to perform basic daily tasks. It’s sometimes possible to treat the condition if the degenerative disc can be located and replaced, but this isn’t always possible.
Even though this condition may occur and advance on its own, research shows that certain injuries and stressful movements may exacerbate degenerative disc disease. These movements may include lifting heavy weights, making sudden movements, or simply putting the back and neck under stress for a long period of time.
Workplace Injuries and Degenerative Disc Disease
Minor workplace injuries can have very painful consequences for someone who suffers from degenerative disc disease. As an employee, you (or your employer) may be required to take certain preventative measures against injury if you know that you are at a high risk. However, employees suffering from degenerative disc disease may still be eligible to claim workers’ compensation payments if a work-related task causes or worsens a back injury.
Simple workplace activities and tasks that may cause a back injury could include:
- Twisting while lifting objects that are too heavy
- A fall when reaching out to an object that is placed high and out of reach
- Being hit by a falling object
- The jerking motion experienced when one trips, even without landing on the ground
A minor injury from one of the examples listed above can cause stress, wear, and tear on a degenerated disk. Over time, the damaged tissue may become very painful and the damage could worsen.
Are you entitled to compensation?
With degenerative disk disease, it could be easy for the insurance company to claim that the disc degeneration is naturally occurring. However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you make a successful claim with the aid of medical records. The main goal is to prove that your work injury led to the present condition.
If your job involves heavy lifting and making repeated movements, you may be more at risk for injury. If one occurs, your employer may be held liable for your damages. Regardless of whether you had a prior disc injury, if the degeneration was accelerated in a workplace accident, you should not be punished. Workers’ compensation covers both new and pre-existing injuries.
A workers’ compensation claim has a statute of limitations, the time frame for which differs by state. The most prudent thing to do is to get in touch with an experienced work injury attorney New York relies on who can start the claims process before the time expiration. We offer free case reviews to workers injured on the job. As a highly rated and respected legal firm with a focus on workers compensation cases, we encourage you to contact us today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen P.C. for their insight into workers compensation claims.