Every year, numerous Illinois residents suffer neck and back injuries while on the job. In severe cases, these injuries can damage the spinal cord. Such injuries can have either temporary or permanent effects on the body. If you or a family member has suffered a spinal cord injury while on the job, you may access workers’ compensation benefits in order to get the medical care and monetary help you need moving forward.
Depending on the severity of a spinal cord injury, treatment can be costly and extensive. How do spinal cord injuries occur? What treatments are available? What can I do if my employer cuts off or denies work comp benefits?
Causes and symptoms
A significant hit to the back is generally the cause of a spinal cord injury. This can happen if you fall, a heavy piece of equipment or machinery hits you or you are involved in a motor vehicle collision — among other causes. This can damage spinal discs, nerves and vertebrae. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Respiratory difficulties
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
The symptoms you experience may be different than those suffered by others in your position. At the end of the day, the location of the injury and its severity will correlate to the symptoms you experience.
What treatments are available?
There are various treatments that medical providers use to care for spinal cord injuries. Again, it all depends on the severity of your injuries. Initial treatment starts with neck stabilization and then diagnosis. After your doctor knows exactly what is going on, treatment options may include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Physical therapy
Many recommend counseling, as a spinal cord injury can take a toll on one’s emotional state.
Workers’ compensation coverage, lack of coverage, denial of claims
Providing workers’ compensation benefits is a legal requirement for most employers. If you suffer a qualifying injury, work comp benefits should cover the full cost of your medical care and partial pay. If you suffer permanent disability, you may receive compensation for that as well.
If your employer prematurely cuts off compensation or denies your claim outright, you have the right to question why. Either one of these situations can leave you in a bad place, physically, mentally and financially. You can fight for fair and full coverage, though, but doing so can take time and may not be easy.
Seek help with your workers’ compensation claim
After suffering a job-related spinal cord injury, the only thing you should have to worry about is your recovery. If you are not getting the care and financial support you need through your workers’ compensation insurance provider, let an experienced attorney help you fight your case.