Neck injuries or damage to the cervical spine can be some of the most life disrupting injuries that you can suffer. Due the tender area of these injuries, they can result in permanent work restrictions and often are responsible for a loss of lifetime earnings. Not only are those with neck injuries likely to be greatly disabled, but they will can also be accompanied by chronic pain that interferes with the ability to work and live normally, often effecting other areas of the body outside the neck.
Although neck injuries are incredibly common, unfortunately for workers they will likely find that worker’s compensation may fight covering them every step of the way. A number of common injuries are often disputed, but few more than neck injuries. Many worker’s compensation insurance companies don’t want to pay out what could be a lifetime of benefits so they will treat your injury with great scrutiny in order to avoid giving you the worker’s compensation benefits that you need. Furthermore, if their investigation finds that you have evidence of a preexisting degenerative disc disease, you will find that you are in quite the fight for worker’s compensation benefits.
Why Degenerative Disc Disease Can Cause Problems for Your Neck Injury Worker’s Compensation
Neck injuries are so devastating because they are not only difficult to concretely diagnose, but they are difficult to treat as well. Many times, doctors fail to pinpoint the exact source of the pain. However, the real problem is that because the injuries can be so difficult to diagnose, they can also be difficult to prove as a work injury since if they can’t pinpoint the exact injury, they can’t attest to how it happens.
Some insurance companies may try to suggest that neck pain is just part of the aging process. They may try to say a slipped or herniated disc is just because you are getting old and not because of anything that happened at work. However, with herniated or slipped discs, as well as disc protrusions, pinched nerves, and radiculopathy, it is important that you get a second opinion form a specialist. This can mean the difference between having your claim denied and having a respected doctor’s opinion that your job was responsible for your neck injury.
If your insurance company is trying to suggest you weren’t hurt at work, but had a degenerative disc disease, you need to visit a specialist and get their opinion. It is natural for your discs to degenerate as you get older, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t injured either. In fact, even if you had a preexisting condition and it was irritated or made worse by your job, you can still seek coverage for it. Furthermore, this defense by your insurance company becomes significantly less relevant if you are below the age of fifty, since obviously you are not enduring the effects of age yet.
Even if you do have a degenerative disc disease if you are experiencing new symptoms like pain or numbness, you need to ask your physician if your pathology has changed and if it could be the result of your job. Never accept that you can’t get worker’s compensation if you believe that your job was directly responsible for a neck injury or a worsening of you preexisting condition.
Have you been denied for a neck injury like so many other suffering workers? Don’t take it lying down. If you believe your injury came from your job, then contact us today. The Meshbesher Law Firm believes that Minnesota’s injured workers need the best representation they can get, and we are willing to fight for those workers.