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Your work-related back pain could be serious

Most people who work works long hours either doing manual labor or sitting in front of a workstation knows about back pain. That includes most of us. If you constantly sit, lift heavy boxes or move into awkward positions, your back may tell you it is not happy. Your work-related back pain may not be just a minor annoyance, however. On the contrary, it may cause you to experience discomfort throughout your lifetime.

In Michigan, virtually all employers must comply with the state’s Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. Pursuant to the law, your employer likely has to take steps to guarantee you receive compensation for any injuries you sustain on the job. While Michigan companies have options, many choose to purchase private insurance to cover the costs you incur due to your injury.

Understanding Michigan workers’ compensation insurance

The Michigan workers’ compensation system does not allow compensation for pain and suffering. Instead, the program tries to make you whole by providing compensation for the following:

  • A portion of your lost wages
  • The reasonable cost of medical care
  • Certain rehabilitation costs

Calculating lost wages under the system’s rules can be challenging. If your injury causes you to lose wages for more than seven days in a row, you may apply for workers’ compensation benefits. After officials review your claim, you may receive 80 percent of your post-tax average weekly wages. You should know, though, that the state applies a maximum rate when determining compensation for lost wages.

Recognizing the serious nature of back injuries

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, herniated discs are a common cause of back pain.  The condition occurs when a disc that cushions the spine shifts position. Even though herniated discs are not rare, they can lead to chronic back pain or degenerative disc disease. Because these injuries may contribute to your long-term inability to work, it is important to successfully navigate the workers’ compensation system. Unfortunately, if you do not report the injury timely and seek treatment immediately, you may be out of luck.

Back pain can haunt you for life, so you must take it seriously. Because you work for a Michigan employer, the state’s workers’ compensation system may provide you with the financial assistance you need to recover. If you believe you have sustained a back injury at work, you must act quickly to seek treatment, obtain compensation and preserve your rights.

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