Back and Neck Pain Injuries
A back or neck injury can affect every part of your life and may even make it impossible to do your job. Sometimes, symptoms of these injuries are felt right away, but in other cases, they get progressively worse over time. Whether your injury occurred at work or as the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other losses.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we have nearly five decades of experience standing up for injury victims in West Virginia. Our lawyers have been in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved with these types of cases, and we have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We work closely with our clients, and we take the time to thoroughly examine the specific circumstances of their case and explore every potential legal avenue toward recovering maximum compensation.
On-the-Job Neck and Back Injuries
In many occupations, workers perform dangerous tasks in hazardous environments that can easily result in a disabling back or neck injury. Even a seemingly minor injury to these areas of the body can severely impact an employee’s morale, productivity, and quality of life. And if not treated promptly, the injury can worsen and become permanent and debilitating.
Some of the jobs in which workers are particularly susceptible to back and neck injuries include:
- Coal mine workers
- Oil and gas workers
- Foresting/logging workers
- Roofers and other types of construction worker
- Utility workers
- Factory/assembly-line workers
- Healthcare workers
- Metal workers and machinists
- Agricultural workers
- Office workers
Some of the most common causes of back and neck injuries in the workplace include:
- Inadequate Safety Measures: In occupations where there are hazards on the job every day, it is critical that employers follow OSHA standards and best safety practices. This is not always the case, however, and there are far too many OSHA violations that occur regularly in these industries.
- Faulty Equipment and Machinery: Equipment and machinery that is employed in the workplace must be functional and safe for workers to use. But there are defects and dangers with some of this equipment and machinery, putting workers at greater risk of injury.
- Repetitive Movements: Many jobs involve repetitive tasks that are done over and over, putting gradual wear and tear on ligaments, muscles, and bones. Workers should be given regular breaks to help avoid repetitive stress injuries to the back and neck.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: A fall in the workplace can cause injuries to the spine, neck, and back. This can happen after slipping on a wet floor, tripping over wiring or debris that is not where it should be, or falling off of a ladder or roof, just to name a few. Slips, trips, and falls can result in some of the more serious workplace injuries.
- Vehicle Accidents: Workers can end up in vehicle accidents while on the job when they are making a delivery or bringing materials into a jobsite, for example.
If you have stiffness in your neck and back, numbness, difficulty moving your head and neck, radiating pain, and other symptoms of a back and neck injury that is related to activities in the workplace, the most important thing to do is seek immediate medical attention to get a diagnosis and obtain prompt treatment. The longer you put this off, the worse your condition is likely to become.
If you have suffered from a neck and back injury that is job-related, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp provides coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses as well as a percentage of lost earnings. However, this program does not provide reimbursement for intangible losses such as physical and emotional pain and suffering.
In most cases, an injured worker in West Virginia is not allowed to sue their employer if they are already able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But there are some limited instances in which you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the employer under West Virginia’s deliberate intent laws.
Deliberate intent cases are very difficult to pursue, however, because you must show clear and convincing evidence of the employer’s deliberate actions. Before going this route, be sure to speak with an attorney who has extensive experience successfully pursuing these types of claims.
There are many workplace injury cases in which a party other than the employer could be held liable for the worker’s injury. In such cases, an employee may be able to sue that party directly for both economic and noneconomic damages, which may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Psychological distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent injury
Outside parties that may be responsible for a back and neck injury in the workplace include:
- A third-party subcontractor whose actions resulted in an employee suffering a workplace injury.
- The designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of a defective or dangerous product that caused the injury.
- The driver of another vehicle who was at fault for a vehicle crash and subsequent worker injury.
- The owner or caretaker of an unsafe property if the workplace injury occurred because of a slip and fall accident off-site.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., our lawyers help people injured on the job obtain the just compensation they need and deserve for their injury. We look beyond workers’ compensation to identify any and all avenues that will allow our clients to recover full and fair compensation. If you have been injured in the workplace, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Neck and Back Injuries from Accidents Outside the Workplace
Car wrecks, falls and other types of accidents that occur during the course of everyday life can result in chronic neck and back pain and oftentimes more serious conditions. If these accidents are caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party, you are entitled to compensation for your losses. In West Virginia, you can recover some compensation for your injuries even if you are partially at fault for the accident, as long as the percentage of fault you share is less than 50%.
Free Initial Consultation with a Back and Neck Injury Lawyer in West Virginia
If you have suffered a neck and back injury at work and/or because of an accident that was someone else’s fault, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help. Message us online or call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
We work on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.