Back and spinal injuries from workplace accidents often require long-term medical attention, rehabilitation and significant lifestyle changes. At the Washington, D.C. law firm of Lightfoot Law, PLLC, our seasoned Washington, D.C. workers’ compensation attorneys help injured workers recover money needed to pay for medical expenses and to make up for lost wages. We represent D.C. area and Maryland clients who have suffered on-the-job falls, traumatic impacts, collisions and other accidents. We prepare and prosecute each claim with thorough attention to detail, persistent advocacy and an individualized approach.
It can be incredibly challenging to deal with the aftermath of an injury, especially if it’s your spine or back that has been affected. If you’re looking for a lawyer who can help you with spine and back injuries, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of professionals at Lightfoot Law, PLLC, has years of experience helping people get the compensation they deserve after an accident.
Washington, D.C. Back and Spinal Injury Resources & FAQs
- Most Common Work-Related Back and Spinal Injuries
- What To Do After a Work-Related Spine or Back Injury in Washington D.C.
- Helpful Evidence for a Washington D.C. Spine or Back Injury Claim
- Compensation for Washington D.C. Spinal and Back Injuries
- What Factors Impact Spinal Injury Compensation?
- Cost of Hiring a Washington, D.C. Back and Spinal Injury Lawyer
- When Is an Injury Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in D.C.?
- What To Do If You Have an Injury That Is Not Covered By Workers’ Comp?
- Washington D.C. Third-Party Negligence Claims
- The Importance of Hiring a Qualified Washington, D.C. Spine Attorney
Most Common Work-Related Back and Spinal Injuries
There are various injuries that can take place to a person’s spine or back, but some injuries are more common than others, including the following:
- Whiplash: If your back or spine was injured in a car accident, it’s likely that you suffered from whiplash. Whiplash occurs as a result of a sudden extension of the neck. When in a car accident, it’s typical for a person’s head and neck to rapidly move around because of the impact. Symptoms typically include headaches, sleep issues, lack of concentration, weakness, pain, problems with vision, and ringing in the ears.
- Fractures: Another common back and spinal injury is fractures. The majority of spine and back injuries are a result of trauma to the vertebral column. Car crashes often cause trauma that severely affects this part of the body, leading to a serious spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury presents with numbness, tingling, partial or total paralysis, and limited function throughout the body.
- Herniated or Bulging Disc: Car accidents or other situations that cause trauma to the back or spine can cause a herniated or bulging disc. This means that the intervertebral discs have been injured. This can cause a significant amount of inflammation and damage to the nerves. This will irritate the nerves and will cause you pain, often a significant amount. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness that radiates through the body.
The location and severity of a spinal injury determines how it limits a person’s mobility. A spinal injury may occur in the cervical (top of the spine), thoracic (middle of the spine), lumbar (lower spine), sacral (base of the spine) or coccyx (tailbone).
When a work injury in Washington, D.C. impedes your ability to work, our firm’s Washington D.C. work injury attorney can help you claim the benefits you need during your recovery. We are well versed in the workers’ compensation laws, processes and hurdles of Washington D.C. and Maryland.
What To Do After a Work-Related Spine or Back Injury in Washington D.C.
In the immediate aftermath of a workplace spinal injury, you can take certain actions aimed at strengthening your claim for workers’ compensation. These include:
- Notifying a supervisor and seeking any necessary first-aid treatment as soon as possible.
- Obtaining a professional medical evaluation promptly and documenting all treatment you receive for your injury.
- Collecting detailed evidence of the accident, including witness accounts.
- Documenting how the injury has changed your life, including new challenges you face.
A claim for workers’ compensation benefits must be filed with the D.C. or state authorities within statutory time limits. If your injury occurred during work but resulted from the negligent actions of third parties, it may be possible to file a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuit for expenses not covered by workers’ compensation.
Our team of committed attorneys will evaluate your eligibility for workers’ compensation and other sources of financial recovery if available.
Helpful Evidence for a Washington D.C. Spine or Back Injury Claim
While your lawyer will gather as much evidence as possible for your claim, it’s a good idea to keep in mind what evidence you might be able to collect as well. It’s likely that you won’t hire a lawyer or a firm right away. This means some of the evidence might not exist by the time you hire a lawyer.
For example, if you were injured as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should photograph the scene of the accident as well as any visible injuries you discover.
It’s also smart to take notes about your pain and any side effects you’re experiencing. People often think they will remember what they went through and the pain they’ve endured, but memories fade rather quickly. The more you write down and keep note of, the better. This will hep you recover compensation for everything you need, such as rehabilitation costs and even compensation for wheelchairs or other devices you might be required to use because of the accident.
Compensation for Washington D.C. Spinal and Back Injuries
If you’ve been injured in an accident, there are a few different types of compensation you may be entitled to. The first is medical expenses. This can include the cost of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and any other type of treatment you may need. You may also be entitled to lost wages if your injuries have prevented you from being able to work. In some cases, you may even be able to get future lost earnings if your injuries will have a long-term impact on your ability to work.
Finally, you may be able to get damages for pain and suffering. These are non-economic damages that are designed to compensate you for the physical and emotional anguish caused by your injuries. This often includes emotional trauma, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, fear or anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s also important to note that there is no cap on how much compensation you can recover for pain and suffering.
What Factors Impact Spinal Injury Compensation?
If you’ve been injured in an accident and it has resulted in a spinal injury, you will want to gain an understanding of how much compensation you can expect to receive. Some of the most common factors that can affect how much money you will receive for your spinal injury include the following:
Extent of Injury
The type of injury sustained is obviously going to have a huge impact on the amount of compensation you receive. For instance, if the injury was more severe, such as paralysis or permanent disability, then the settlement amounts would be considerably higher than they would be if the injury was less serious.
It’s important to remember that even something like whiplash can be considered a spinal injury and could lead to considerable medical expenses and lost wages due to being unable to work.
It’s essential that you’re aware of all the potential damages that may result from your injury so that they can be included in any settlement negotiations with insurance companies or other parties responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
Having competent legal representation is paramount when attempting to receive maximum compensation for a spinal cord injury. An experienced lawyer will understand the nuances associated with these types of cases and know exactly how to approach negotiations with insurance providers or other responsible parties to get the most favorable outcome for their client.
A good lawyer will also have access to medical experts who can provide additional testimony regarding your condition and prognosis which could bolster any claims made against those responsible for causing your injuries.
Additionally, having a lawyer by your side throughout this process will give you peace of mind knowing that someone is fighting hard on your behalf and providing valuable advice along the way.
The amount of coverage provided by an insurance policy is another key factor when determining how much compensation can be expected from a spinal cord injury claim.
Additionally, if multiple liable parties are identified, pursuing additional claims against those parties could increase overall compensation amounts as well since each party may have different levels of coverage depending on their respective policies.
Cost of Hiring a Washington, D.C. Back and Spinal Injury Lawyer
Almost all personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. This means you can shop around until you find the firm that feels like the right fit for you without having to spend anything up front. Personal injury lawyers also generally operate on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment structure, the lawyer only gets paid if they win or settle your case. Not only does this allow more people to have access to quality legal representation, it also ensures that the firm you hire will work as hard as possible to get you the maximum compensation. The more you receive, the more they earn.
The Seriousness of Spinal and Back Injuries
The spine is a vital part of the human body. It’s what allows us to stand upright and move around, and it protects our spinal cord – the bundle of nerves that runs down our backs. When this area is injured, it can have a serious impact on our lives.
In some cases, people who suffer from spinal or back injuries never recover fully. They may be left with chronic pain, or might be unable to return to work or live a normal life. That’s why it’s so important to get the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
It’s also important to keep track of how you’re feeling and what side effects you have from your back injury. Some of them will show up immediately, but others might take longer to surface. Some common symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and difficulty walking or sitting. Take note of any numbness or tingling, as this could be a sign that your nerves have been damaged.
When Is an Injury Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Washington, D.C.?
Many people are familiar with the concept of workers’ compensation, but they may not realize that there are certain injuries and accidents that are not covered by it. The following are some of the most common reasons your injury may not be covered by a workers’ compensation claim.
Injuries or Accidents That Take Place Off-Site
One type of injury that is typically not covered by workers’ compensation is one that takes place off-site. This means that any injury or accident that occurs outside the normal scope of your job—whether it’s on the way to work, during your lunch break, or even on a business trip – will usually not be covered.
There can be exceptions to this rule if you were on the clock at the time of the injury or if you were doing something related to your job when it happened.
For example, if you are injured while driving a company vehicle, then your injury may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you were off-site at a mandatory work event, this could also be covered by workers’ compensation in some circumstances.
It’s important to talk to a lawyer to determine whether your off-site injury qualifies for coverage.
Injuries That Are Intentionally Self-Inflicted
Workers’ comp does not cover any injuries that have been intentionally self-inflicted. For instance, if you deliberately put yourself in danger in order to collect benefits from workers’ comp (such as purposely cutting yourself), those benefits will be denied if the insurance company or your employer figures out what you did.
This type of behavior is also considered fraud and is illegal.
Injuries Caused By Alcohol Or Drugs
If you are injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then those injuries will usually not be covered by workers’ comp either. The reasoning behind this is that such substances impair judgment and decision-making abilities, which could lead someone to make reckless decisions and put themselves at risk unnecessarily.
When you’re at work, you know not to use drugs or alcohol, so the insurance company will have no sympathy if you’re injured while under the influence.
Drug and alcohol use may constitute willful misconduct on behalf of the employee which would exclude them from receiving benefits.
What To Do If You Have an Injury That Is Not Covered By Workers’ Comp?
If you have been injured in an accident or incident that is not covered by workers’ compensation, regardless of whether it was intentional or due to negligence, it’s important to seek legal help right away in order to determine what other options may be available for recovering damages for your losses.
A qualified attorney can review the details of your case and advise you on how best to proceed with seeking justice and obtaining financial compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injury.
Don’t Miss The Deadline To Report Your Injury
Your employer should be contacted as soon as possible following the incident causing your injury. However, this notification must happen within 30 days of your injury. The best way to ensure that all deadlines are met is by informing your supervisor or another person in charge immediately after seeking medical treatment.
You should always inform them in writing so you have proof of your notification. Failing to inform your employer on time could result in a denial of benefits and lost wages during the recovery process.
Washington, D.C. Third-Party Negligence Claims
In some circumstances, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit for an injury that isn’t covered by workers’ compensation. If a third party – for example, an independent contractor that is working with your company- acts negligently and causes you to get injured, you can likely file a claim against that person directly instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim.
The Importance of Hiring a Qualified Washington, D.C. Spine Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to hire an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. At our law firm, we have a team of qualified attorneys who are ready to help. We understand the ins and outs of personal injury law, and we know what it takes to get results.
Contact Our Washington, D.C. Spinal and Back Injury Lawyers
The workers’ compensation attorneys of Lightfoot Law, PLLC in Washington, D.C. seek compensation for D.C. area and Maryland clients who have suffered on-the-job spinal injuries. To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer, call (202) 919-5453or contact us online.