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Workplace Neck Injuries Can Be Hard to Prove

Neck injuries are among the most common kinds of injuries that happen at work. Office workers who spend a lot of time leaning forward can develop a neck injury, as can a warehouse worker who frequently lifts heavy items or engages in repetitive tasks.

Almost any employee can experience a common neck injury, such as one of the following:

  • Neck Sprain/Strain: Sprains are caused by torn ligaments in the neck and strains happen when a muscle or tendon tears. These kinds of injuries happen as a result of a sudden incident.
  • Stiff Muscles and Tendons: Stiffness in one’s neck can happen as a result of awkward movement or moving one’s neck very little for a long period of time.
  • Herniated Disc: This injury happens when a spinal disk is torn and the “jellylike” interior leaks out. A herniated disc can happen as a result of a sudden injury.
  • Pinched Nerve: Pain that is caused by bone, tissue, or tendons pressing up against surrounding nerves is known as a pinched nerve. An unaddressed neck sprain or strain can lead to this injury.
  • Fractured Cervical Spine: This is the clinical phrase for a broken neck, which occurs when a cervical spine is fractured. Serious medical attention is necessary when this injury occurs.

Why Are Neck Injuries Hard to Prove?

Despite how common and ubiquitous neck injuries can be, filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company can be a hassle.

The reason why it can be so difficult to get benefits for a workplace neck injury is because of how difficult it can be to prove that your employment is the reason for the injury. Neck injuries can develop for a multitude of reasons off the clock, which is why insurance companies will want to thoroughly poke and prod at your claim.

You may well know that hunching over your desk for eight or more hours a day is responsible for the pain in your neck, but can you prove it’s not because you drive with the same posture? Maybe the condition of your bed is to blame, or perhaps it’s because you’re constantly looking down at your smartphone? You could have also fallen at home or been involved in a car accident, but are concealing these incidents.

Once you begin to see how an adjuster will view your claim and all of the other potential explanations that aren’t related to work, you begin to see why insurance companies can seem so stingy with neck injury claims.

How Do You Prove a Link Between Your Employment & a Neck Injury?

Even if you think the reason for your neck injury is obvious, insurance companies have a vested interest in denying poorly founded claims. Ultimately, workers’ compensation payouts for neck injuries happen when all of the other explanations for the injury get whittled away by facts and evidence.

If your claim was denied, you can pursue compensation by hiring a worker’s compensation personal injury attorney. As your legal advocate, this person can interface with the insurance company to discuss its reasons for the denial and work toward reversing it. If this doesn’t work, legal action can be taken by filing a lawsuit to seek damages that can include compensation for your medical and therapy bills.

Fighting your claim in court is never ideal, but it can help you get the financial compensation you need to afford medical bills. Even if there isn’t an obvious “smoking gun” to prove your neck injury is work-related, expert witnesses and other types of evidence and testimony can be gathered to support your case. At the end of the day, though, Insurance companies don’t love court battles any more than you do, so filing a complaint could be enough to leverage an agreeable settlement.

Do You Need Help with Your Claim?

If you are experiencing a neck injury as a result of work, our attorneys at Smolich and Smolich can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need. We can advise you through the process of submitting your claim to your employer’s insurance company and any further steps it may take toward getting a payout. If your claim is denied, we can work with you to challenge the denial up, even if it takes filing a lawsuit.

Learn more about what we can do for you by scheduling a free initial consultation. Contact Smolich and Smolich online or call (916) 571-0400 to get in touch with us today.