Friday, January 3, 2014

I Had A Minnesota Work Related Back and Neck Injury, What Do I Tell My Doctor?

This article is prompted by a phone call I received this afternoon from an existing client with a hand injury who now sustained a more serious back injury a year later.  She was concerned about filing "another work injury" and is hoping her back gets better and she doesn't want to report it to work despite missing a week of work.

She is well intentioned but is making an enormous mistake that I have seen countless times.  If you have a work injury that results in lost time from work or you need to seek medical care then you MUST report it.  It's the law.  Your employer must complete a First Report of Injury because that's the law.  Why is this the law?  To protect YOU the injured worker when the employer later tries to deny the injury or minimize it.  It's true that most back injuries resolve shortly after the incident on there own with simple rest, ice, and core strengthening.  But there are times when it doesn't and this action or inaction will greatly hurt your chances for fair treatment by the employer, insurance company and adverse doctors.

When you first see your health care provider, you will be asked questions about your back pain, including how severe it is, how it happened and where it happened.  Tell the doctor clearly and repeatedly where it happened and how it happened. 

Your doctor or chiropractor will try to determine the cause of your back pain and how to best treat it.  The pain will likely get better with simple measures such as ice, medication, physical therapy, and  exercises.  However, some symptoms such as radicular pain down your arms or legs can be immediate signs of a far more serious injury.  Your doctor may order an X-ray, CT Scan, MRI or an EMG to rule out a more serious injury.  This is an excellent time to call a lawyer for a free consultation. 

Please, if you have sustained a neck or back injury at work, tell your supervisor and then see a doctor.  Don't assume your doctor knows you had a work injury.  Tell them directly, don't assume the nurse or intake assistant clearly advised them of the nature of your injury.  Be your own advocate.

If you have sustained a Minnesota work related injury contact attorney Tom Atkinson or Kerry Atkinson today.  Atkinson Law Office and Minnesota Disability have a staff dedicated to assisting Minnesota work injuries.  Kerry and Tom have been working with Minnesota work injuries for over 20 years.  Both Tom and Kerry formerly represented employers and insurers but now only represent employees!  We are waiting to share the secrets they have learned to assist you to win your case.  There is never a fee collected to meet with them nor a fee paid unless there is a recovery.  Your initial consultation is always free as well.  Call today 651-333-3636 and visit our website