Many different types of work-related injuries require surgery, especially back injuries. If you have severely injured your back while on the job and require surgery, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp benefits should cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income.
Your employer, through their workers’ compensation insurance provider, is supposed to cover your medical expenses so you can return to work after a work-related accident. However, there are situations when either your employer or the insurer fails to do what is required. To avoid paying the cost of an expensive surgical procedure, an insurance provider could determine that back surgery is unnecessary. To obtain the benefits you are entitled to, you need our Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyers handling your case.
A serious back injury could be debilitating. Not only will the pain keep you from working, but it will also negatively impact every aspect of your life. If you were hurt on the job, your medical treatment should be covered under your employer’s workers’ comp insurance. If you think you are not receiving the treatment you deserve or your claim was denied, contact our law offices. Call (479) 316-0438 to have decades of experience working for you.
Back Injuries That Could Require Surgery
Back injuries are not trifling matters. While many back injuries are treated with prescription medication and physical therapy, others require surgery.
If you have a herniated disc because of a work-related accident, you could require discectomy surgery. During this procedure, the ruptured portion of the disc is removed, relieving pain and inflammation. Part of a vertebra could have to be removed to reach the herniated disc.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the column protecting the spinal cord narrows, aggravating and injuring the nerves that make up the spinal cord. To relieve the pain associated with stenosis, the bone surrounding the spinal canal could be removed during a laminectomy.
Falls from scaffolding or other construction accidents could result in a spinal fracture. Spinal fusion is a surgical technique where two or more bones are joined together to stabilize the spine.
These are only a few of the probable reasons why surgery could be required. Under workers’ compensation law, you should be covered if a work-related injury exacerbates a pre-existing condition. Some back pain results from chronic conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis. If your injury that occurred on your job intensified the pain associated with a chronic condition, you could still be covered for back surgery.
Does Arkansas Workers Compensation Cover the Costs of Back Surgery?
If you injure your back while working, you will want to determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, if the injury occurred during the course of your employment, you should be eligible. Next, you need to report the injury to your supervisor or employer. Your claim could be denied or prohibited if you fail to report it promptly.
Under Arkansas workers’ compensation law, your employer or their insurance company picks your doctor. If you do not see an authorized doctor, your workers’ comp claim could be denied, especially if the unapproved doctor recommends surgery. To have your surgery covered under workers’ compensation, the doctor appointed by the insurance company must make the recommendation.
Could the Cost of My Back Surgery Be Denied?
Worker’s compensation benefits are designed to cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, including back surgery and its related expenses. However, the treatment must be related to a work injury and the surgery must be necessary. While workers’ compensation is supposed to provide injured workers financial benefits without having to go through the hurdles of a personal injury lawsuit, many workers still have to fight for the benefits they deserve. There are several reasons why an employer or an insurance company will deny compensating an injured worker for the cost of back surgery.
- A non-approved doctor recommended the back surgery.
- The employer or insurance company alleges the back injury was not work-related.
- The insurance company tried to terminate the employee’s benefits while they were scheduling surgery.
- The insurance company required an independent medical examination before surgery would be approved.
- The employee failed to follow other medical treatments to alleviate the pain.
- The insurance company believes the back surgery is unnecessary given the nature of the injury and the odds of recovery.
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, you still have options. Our Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyers will help you gather copies of medical records, test results, and a recommendation from a doctor indicating why the surgery is necessary to improve your condition. Having a body of medical documentation and evidence could compel an insurer to alter its decision. However, if the insurer refuses to approve the surgery, our office could file a formal appeal with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Working for You
Workers’ compensation was designed to be easy. If you are injured while working, the insurance kicks in and pays your medical bills so you can get back on your feet. However, in practice, it might not be as smooth. You must see an approved doctor who might not have your best interests in mind. Back surgery is expensive, and a doctor might push towards medication and physical therapy, even if it is not the best option. Our Crawford County workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to helping injured workers obtain the benefits they need. Your medical treatment should be a decision between you and a trusted doctor – not one made by an insurance adjuster. If you believe your back surgery was wrongly denied, call (479) 316-0438.
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