Workers with Herniated Discs May Be Entitled to Benefits
Herniated discs can occur due to a singular, traumatic accident or they may develop over time, with repeated pressure placed on the spine. Herniated disc injuries caused by work activities are generally compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. represent workers in herniated disc claims throughout Pennsylvania.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Spinal discs are small, rubbery pads between each vertebra that hold the spine together. Injury occurs when one of those discs slips or ruptures. In some cases, the injured party does not even realize he or she is injured because the herniated disc causes no pain and the injury heals on its own. However, less commonly, a herniated disc may require medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
Symptoms vary, depending on the size and location of the injury. Typically, pain is experienced in the low back, but can also occur in the neck, chest, buttocks, or down the back of one leg. Symptoms of a herniated disc injury in the neck (cervical) or the back (lumbar) may include:
How Do Herniated Disc Injuries Happen at Work?
Herniated discs may occur due to the natural degeneration of disc material over time as a natural result of aging. However, sometimes the injuries happen due to an employee’s job duties or work environment. Although discs may become herniated after a single, heavy impact injury, it is much more likely that a herniation will develop over time.
Some workers are at higher risk for herniated disc injuries, namely those in occupations that require them to:
- Lift heavy objects
- Turn in awkward positions
- Sit or stand for long periods
- Repeatedly bend at the waist
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for a Herniated Disc Injury
Pennsylvania employees with back injuries may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation system is “no-fault”; therefore, employees do not need to prove that their employer was at fault for their injuries in order to claim compensation.
However, other requirements and deadlines must be met; therefore workers should speak with a qualified local attorney in their area. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have proudly served clients throughout Pennsylvania for over 40 years in all types of workers’ compensation claims, including those for herniated disc injuries.
Claims Involving Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition
In Pennsylvania, workers are entitled to recover for pre-existing conditions, provided that their pre-existing condition was aggravated by their work duties or environment. The pre-existing condition need not have occurred at work nor is a worker required to have had previous knowledge of their condition in order to be compensable. All that workers must prove is that their work activities or environment made their pre-existing condition worse.
Employers may try to dissuade workers from filing pre-existing injury claims or initially deny claims by blaming the injury on causes other than the workplace, such as aging or a worker’s lifestyle or habits. Pennsylvania employees should be aware that they may be eligible to receive the following workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries as well as pre-existing injuries:
- Medical expense compensation
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
- Specific loss award
- Death benefits
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania is three years from the date of the worker’s injury. Therefore, it is important to get the process started as soon as possible. However, workers must give notice of their work-related injury to their employers within 120 days or else their claim will be time-barred.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers in Herniated Disc Claims
If you suffered a herniated disc at work or your work duties/environment made your pre-existing condition worse, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced attorneys will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. We represent clients in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
We proudly represent workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.