If you work in Alabama and do physical work, such as construction work, production work, Healthcare duties, etc., eventually you will most likely have a job accident and suffer a back injury while performing your job duties. Most workers who suffer a back injury do not suffer a serious injury, although a badly pulled back muscle can take a while to fully hear (at one doctor’s deposition I was informed a bad muscle strain could take a year to heal), and most workers do not want to file a Work Injury Report every time they pull a back muscle. For physical jobs, aches and pains go with the job and more oft than not, the worker does not think much of a pulled back muscle and just continues to perform their job duties.
The problem is that often a worker is not sure if they have suffered a serious injury or just a sprain, so they do not report the injury at first, but only later file a Work Injury Report when their pain refuses to go away. This is why in Alabama, a worker has up to 90 days in which to inform his employer about a job injury. An oral report is just as valid a notice means as a detailed written report, but a written/typed report is best.
What you think is merely a back strain could be a herniated disc (also called a herniated disk, a herniated nucleus pulposus, disc protrusion, disc extrusion, a slipped disc or a ruptured disc) or an annular tear.
A herniated disk refers to the situation where the cushions (disc) between the bones (vertebrae) of your spinal cord, or the vertebrae themselves, are damaged due to injury or disease, causing the disc to be squeezed out from beneath the vetebraes. When the disc contacts a nerve, pain ensues. Depending on what level your herniation is located (cervical/neck, thoracic/upper back or lumbar/lower back), pain can run down your right or left arm, right or left leg, can effect your hands, feet, fingers, toes and can cause numbness as well.
An annular tear occurs when the exterior on a disc rips or tears, which can cause pain and can itself lead to a herniated disc.
If you have hurt your back at work and you have questions about your rights under the Alabama Workers Compensation Law, contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation Attorneys at Powell and Denny today for a free consultation; and remember, virtual appointments are available via Zoom.
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Alabama Workers Compensation Attorneys
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