People get hurt on the job when they least expect it. A pinched nerve can occur while you’re on the job as its own injury or it can be caused by another injury. It’s hard to work or even focus when dealing with nerve pain. If you are hurt while working, do you know about your workers’ compensation rights? Workers’ Compensation and You Many of the benefits that workers’ compensation offers are available to help employees after they have been injured on the job. Each state has laws pertaining to workers’ compensation. Most employers are required by law to provide a workers’ compensation insurance policy for their employees. Benefits are provided at no cost to employees who are hurt on the job. Pinched Nerves as a Work-related Injury A pinched nerve can occur when a herniated disc slips from its place in your spine and presses on nerves in the spinal cord. It causes pain in your back and legs. Pinched nerves can also occur in the neck. A pinched nerve can be the result of a sudden and jarring shock to the spine or body. It often happens when lifting heavy items, from falls or slips, repetitive motion, and work, or a motor vehicle accident. Pinch nerves are common, yet painful, injuries experienced by warehouse workers, restaurant workers, factory workers, construction workers, mechanics, and delivery drivers who are in a car accident. Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve Burning or sharp pain in your arm or leg Pain that travels from back or neck A pinching sensation when you turn your neck Sharp jolt when twisting your back Pain in shoulder blade or buttock Numbness and tingling in arm or leg Pain over your ear, into your face or jaw Continual headaches Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation If you are hurt while working, notify your supervisor and consider filing a workers’ compensation claim. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you get the medical assistance and other benefits that you may need to recover from your pinched nerve and get back to work. You can also get a list of physicians that will treat you for free from your supervisor or Human Resource representative. Common workers’ compensation benefits Medical assistance: You may need to receive medical care or take medication because of your pinched nerve. Workers’ compensation can help to cover these costs. It may also cover the costs of MRIs, lab work, therapy, medical examinations, and any follow-up visits you may need. Portion of your wages: If you are unable to return to work either temporarily or permanently because of your pinched nerve, you may qualify to receive compensation for part of your lost wages. Training for a new job: Workers’ compensation may provide you with occupational training that allows you to learn new job skills if you will be unable to return to your previous field because of your pinched nerve. How To File For Workers’ Compensation With A Pinched Nerve If you are in a workplace accident and you suffer a pinched nerve, you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. Anytime you are involved in a workplace accident, you should immediately notify your employer. This is essential to the success of your workers’ compensation claim. You must make timely notification and you must make sure your employer files a timely accident claim. It is imperative to establish medical care right away. Most employers have a network of medical providers for their workers’ compensation claims. This list of approved providers should be posted in a dominant place. If you don’t see this list, you should ask your supervisor for a copy. Failure to get care from the network could result in you having to pay your own medical bills out of pocket. Keep copies of all medical bills, medical records, and physician notes. As an example, keep copies of work excuses and document any missed work and lost wages. Be sure your employer stays updated on your condition and that your supervisor or manager is given copies of any medical excuses right away, so they can plan to cover your shift and so your workers’ compensation claim can proceed. Because workers’ compensation laws vary from one state to another, and because many legitimate workers’ comp claims are denied every year, you should enlist the help of a workers’ comp lawyer who handles workplace injury cases in your state. With the help of an attorney, you will make sure all documents are filed in a timely manner and that your workers’ comp claim gets on right track. Your odds of your claim being approved increase significantly when you have a workers’ comp lawyer working for you. Evidence To Support a Workers’ Comp Claim For a Pinched Nerve If you have suffered a pinched nerve while on the job, you will need to provide supporting evidence and documentation to show the extent of your injury. This will also help you with your workers’ compensation claim. Your medical documentation should provide the supporting evidence that you need for a successful workers’ compensation claim. Nerve injuries are either caused by repetitive stress or by an accident. A pinched nerve while on the job is usually caused by repetitive use or by trauma. You may have to provide medical records that existed prior to the injury, so you can prove that it wasn’t pre-existing. Witness statements and the accident report can also help you show that the injuries were work-related. Keep copies of medical bills, medical records, and any medical excuses or notes written by your provider. You should be sure to continue with your medical care and attend all follow-up visits, so you can improve your recovery rate and make sure your claim is on the right track. A pinched nerve results when a herniated disc slips out of its place in your spine and presses against the spinal cord’s nerves. It causes your legs and back to suffer pain, but it can sometimes occur in the neck. Usually, these injuries are caused by a sudden jar such as a fall or a hit. Repetitive motions, such as those that involve frequent bending or reaching, can also cause you to suffer a pinched nerve. Potential Settlement Amounts For a Pinched Nerve If you have suffered a pinched nerve while on the job, you will want to file a workers’ compensation claim. While state laws do vary, the benefits provided are rather consistent. These include the payment of medical benefits, payment of about two-thirds of your lost wages, and if necessary, cover the costs associated with vocational rehabilitation. If you have permanent disabilities or impairments, you can receive permanent impairment benefits or long-term disability. The amount of your settlement depends on the severity of your injury, the cost of your medical care, and the need for future medical care and any future lost wages. Of course, a pinched nerve that requires surgical intervention and that will require long-term care, such as physical therapy, will be worth more than a claim that requires physical therapy and some doctor visits before you are released to return to your regular work duties 6 weeks later. No two workers’ compensation claims are the same, so you should enlist the help of a workers’ compensation attorney to help you ensure you get access to the benefits that you need during this difficult time. You want to have access to the medical care you need so you can recover as fully as possible. You also don’t want your family to be stuck in a financial bind when you should be able to access workers’ comp benefits that will reduce the financial impact that your family will face during your recovery and care. What Can Impact How Long It Takes to Settle Your Workers’ Comp Claim For a Pinched Nerve There are several things that can affect how long it will take to reach a settlement for your workers’ compensation claim for your pinched nerve. It could be affected by the severity of your injury, the value of your claim and the overall costs associated to your medical bills, and how long you will be off work. Also, the willingness of the insurance company to reach a fast settlement, your workers’ compensation attorney’s negotiating skills, and the judge assigned to the case will all have an affect on how quickly your claim is resolved. Once a settlement has been agreed on, it could take a couple of weeks for the lawyers to get the agreement and then all parties sign it. After that, it could take a couple more weeks for the judge to sign off on it and make it binding. After that, in most states, the insurance company has 30 days to send the check to your lawyer. The lawyer will receive the check, any outstanding medical bills will be paid, the legal expenses are paid, the attorney gets his or her pre-agreed amount as payment, and then you receive the rest. Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney A workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with the assistance you need and answer your questions about the benefits you need for your pinched nerve. If you have been hurt on the job, it’s important that you seek consultation with a worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible. It’s important that you know your rights under workers’ compensation laws. An experienced attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve.