Back injury claim can help compensate for pain and sufferingJuly 1, 2011
Following a back injury, putting in a claim for compensation may not be the first thing you think of. Back injuries can be excruciatingly painful and potentially disabling and can have a major impact on everyday life. However, a back injury claim can help with financial expenses, loss of earnings and as compensation for pain and suffering.
The back is a complex area of the body. It is made up of 24 small bones called vertebrae which support the weight of the upper body and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body and back. Signals from the brain to the rest of the body control movement and signals regarding the senses are sent back to the brain. So if the spinal cord is damaged, it can affect these signals. Paralysis is the loss of movement in a particular area and it can also include loss of feeling.
The back is also made up of intervertebral discs which cushion the bones of the back. A ‘slipped disc’ is caused when the disc is damaged and can be extremely painful. Ligaments, tendons and muscles hold everything together in the back and allow movement. Because the back is connected to other parts of the body, an injury to the back can also cause pain in the neck, legs or buttocks.
According to the HSE report ‘Analysis of compensation claims related to health and safety issues,’ the most common site of injuries which lead to compensation claims is the back. Common causes of back injury are manual lifting, incorrect posture and repetitive movement. According to the HSE, 36% of manual handling injuries affect the back. Manual handling forms a part of many varied types of work, from construction work to office work. Not all employees have had sufficient manual handling training from their employer and this can lead to risk of injury. Back injuries also make up 70% of injuries caused by poor machine or workstation design, with back and neck making up an additional 20%
A back injury may mean that you are unable to return to work whilst you recover and it may mean that you are unable to return to full duties straight away, particularly if your job involves manual activities, such as lifting. Because of this, a back injury can also lead to increased levels of stress or depression.
However, it is important to remain active and to consult a doctor about physiotherapy exercises which will help your recovery.
If you have been injured at work as a result of the negligence of the company that you work for, you may be able to put in a claim for compensation. For back injury claims, as well as other kinds of injury claims, it is important to start thinking about your claim as soon as possible, while the information is fresh in your mind. The Limitation Act 1980 means that claims for personal injury must be made within three years of the injury or three years from when the claimant first had knowledge of the injury.