Is Your Nerve Injury Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Rights?
Does Your Nerve Injury Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Robert just found out that he could be out of work for a while because of pain he has developed in his lower back. Doctors have advised him complete rest for a couple of months for the severe sciatic nerve pain. It would take a while for it to heal and for him to get back to normalcy.
Although Robert is pretty sure the pain was caused due to the strenuous nature of his work, he worries if he can claim workers compensation.
Well, the good news is he can. Nerve damage or injury which is caused due to an accident at work or a job-related stress injury is almost always covered by workers’ compensation.
A nerve injury can be a cause of panic because it means you will be out of work for a period of time, and the duration depends on the severity of nerve damage. It also means there are going to be numerous visits to the doctor and quite a few medical bills to pay. But, if your nerve damage is caused due to an injury or due to repetitive stress at work you can claim workers’ compensation.
Nerve damage starts with certain warning signs early on before it turns critical. These signs could range from numbness, atrophy of the muscle tissue, losing the ability to detect changes in temperature, changes in your skin and hair condition or a burning or tingling sensation in your limbs. Nerve damage is primarily categorized as follows:
- Caused due to tearing, stretching or bruising of a nerve: Often these injuries are caused by accidents at work rather than the repetitive stress of the nerves. This kind of an injury can often result in complete loss of functionality, and the damage can sometimes be permanent.
- Interruption of communication to and from the brain, due to pinched nerves: Repeated stress to an area over a period of time can cause this kind of nerve damage. And in most cases, the damage is not permanent. Proper rest and medication can take care of the symptoms in most cases.
The most common causes of nerve damage are listed here:
- If your work involves lifting of heavy objects
- A slip or fall at work
- Accidents at work
- Accidents at construction sites
- Unseen injuries masked by numbness
If you had an accident at work or your job demands repetitive work that has caused you nerve damage, you are covered under workers’ compensation. In the state of Pennsylvania, a worker who has been diagnosed with nerve damage is entitled to the following benefits:
- Temporary total benefits: A worker will receive temporary total benefits of 66 and 2/3rd % of his average weekly wages as temporary benefits to cover for income lost due to an injury. This comes into effect if he/she is disabled for more than seven calendar days.
- Medical benefits: All reasonable and necessary costs of medical treatment and hospitalizations for the injured worker is taken care of. In case your employer denies your claim, you should consult a work injury lawyer to decide your next course of action.
- Permanent impairment benefits: If you are unable to return to work for over two years, there will be an IRE (Impairment rating evaluation) if there’s a whole body impairment. If the rating is above 50%, the injured person is entitled to total disability compensation. It’s best to get in touch with your work injury lawyer to know if you qualify.
- Vocational rehabilitation: This purpose of this service is to help injured workers return to service. Skill development, job application services, resume services, etc. are part of rehabilitation benefits. You are entitled to your wage loss benefits while you’re pursuing the rehabilitation program.
Our experienced team of attorneys at Brett Tessler and Associates can assist you with your workers’ compensation case. For a free consultation or to speak to one of our attorney’s, contact us at 215-569-9005.