According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one-third of work injuries that resulted in missed time were to the shoulder and back, and heavy lifting is one of the most common causes. Some workers may have physical jobs requiring them to continuously lift heavy weights where constant bending, twisting, and turning often cause injuries. You will be entitled to financial compensation if you have suffered a lifting injury, and the critical question is whether the money will come from a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against a responsible party. Filing a personal injury lawsuit from a lifting accident can be challenging, but you may receive substantial money if you win.

You should consult an experienced Augusta workers’ compensation attorney if you have suffered a lifting injury. They will review your case and let you know how to get compensation. If you have a lawsuit, your lawyer will file it on your behalf and fight for you to receive the total amount of money you deserve.

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Staying Safe When Lifting Is a Matter of Planning and Caution

Lifting requires forethought regarding procedures to complete the lift and the individual steps to handle a specific load. There are best practices that an employee can use while lifting to avoid potential injury. However, they may not know these practices because the employer put them in a warehouse and told them to lift without adequate training. Moreover, they may not have anything to protect themselves from injury when they lift too much weight. Some hefty loads are more suitable to be raised by a mechanical device, such as a forklift.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has determined the amount of weight a worker can safely lift on the job. The NOSH has found that the average worker can lift 51 pounds, but much depends on the worker’s size and weight.

How You May Suffer a Lifting Injury

Lifting causes repeated strain and stress on muscles, discs, and vertebrae. A heavier load stresses these crucial parts of a worker’s body.

Workers can suffer an injury by doing the following:

  • Lifting more weight than their body and strength can handle
  • Using an improper technique to lift
  • Lifting at too many points during the work day without the proper amount of time to rest
  • Lifting without using some personal protective equipment to steady their back

Lifting injuries can keep you from doing your job for an extended period and leave you in severe discomfort. You may not be the same again because of chronic pain.

Lifting can also cause a sudden injury if you strain your body or make an awkward motion and cause an injury from overuse.

Potential Lifting Injuries That Can Keep You from Working

Potential Lifting Injuries That Can Keep You from Working

You may suffer the following injuries from lifting:

  • Herniated disc – your back has discs that separate the bones in your spine. These discs contain a jelly-like substance, and a herniated disc is when the jelly-like substance protrudes through the outer shell, placing pressure on the spine. It can cause you pain and numbness in your arms and legs.
  • Rotator cuff tears – the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder joint in place and permit you to move your arm and shoulder. Continuous lifting can cause a rotator cuff tear, resulting in shoulder pain and a limited range of motion.
  • Sciatica – when you have a herniated disc, your sciatic nerve will become pinched. You will then experience inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg. Sciatica may even keep you from walking.
  • You may suffer a tear or strain to your muscles when lifting heavy loads or because of repetitive motions.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Lifting Injury

The type of compensation that you can obtain for your lifting injury depends on where it happened and who was to blame for the injury. Usually, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if your injury occurred on the job. As far as your employer is concerned, your exclusive remedy is filing a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer must pay for workers’ compensation insurance, but the tradeoff is that they are immune from employee-filed negligence lawsuits. Your workers’ compensation claim benefits will be more limited than the damages you get in a personal injury lawsuit. You will not receive your total lost income nor qualify for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Although it Is Rare, Sometimes You Can Sue Your Employer

You can sue an employer for a lifting injury in limited circumstances. Your employer has a wide berth regarding immunity to work-related injuries. If they were simply negligent, you cannot sue them, and you cannot sue them for some violations of OSHA rules. However, there are still situations where you can sue your employer.

An employer can be liable when they have failed to give you training that may have prevented injuries. Under OSHA rules, an employer must provide you with safety training, and if your job involves routine lifting, your employer should train you to lift safely and avoid injury. If a lack of training causes your injury, you can sue them; however, your employer will try to use their immunity as a shield.

You can also sue your employer when they put you in a situation that can cause injury. For example, you will likely suffer an injury if your employer directs you to lift hefty weights without support. Your employer can be liable for deliberately putting you in harm’s way because it is an intentional action with a high likelihood of injuring you. It does not fall under your employer’s immunity from negligence-based actions.

Third-Party Negligence Lawsuits for Lifting Injuries

Third-Party Negligence Lawsuits for Lifting Injuries

Most employees file lawsuits against a third party when they suffer an injury while working. These third parties do not have any immunity because they have not purchased workers’ compensation insurance to protect you. They can be liable in a negligence-based lawsuit just like anybody else, and you can hold them accountable for their lack of due care.

Generally, you can sue someone who owes you a duty of care, and there may be some situations in which a party who is not your employer will owe you this duty. You can win your lawsuit when you prove that they did something unreasonable under the circumstances. Then, you must prove that their actions were the proximate cause of your injuries.

One common situation where you can sue a third party is when you are working at a job site that your employer does not control. For example, you can make pickups and deliveries off your work site, and the customer directs you to lift something unsafe. Then, you can sue the third party when you have suffered an injury.

Contact a Work Injury Attorney to Learn About Your Legal Options

If you have suffered a lifting injury, consult a personal injury attorney immediately. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know how you can receive compensation for your injury. They may look for a third party you can sue in a lawsuit or advise you to file a workers’ compensation claim. You will not know your legal rights until you talk to a lawyer.

You May Still Be Able to File a Worker’s Compensation Claim

After filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can still file a lawsuit if a third party or your employer is to blame for the accident. If you win your lawsuit, the insurance company will receive compensation for what it advanced you for your case from the proceeds of your settlement or award. This factor is something that you need to keep in mind when you are calculating the amount of damages.

If, for some reason, you do not win your lawsuit, you can still keep your workers’ compensation benefits. Once you have established that you have suffered a work-related injury, it is independent of whether someone may have been at fault for what happened. Workers’ compensation benefits can provide a valuable source of money when you have suffered an injury. Still, if possible, you want to find a way to file a personal injury lawsuit because these lawsuits can pay more in compensation.

Your Compensation in a Third-Party Lifting Injury Case

If you can win a lawsuit over your lifting injury, you may be entitled to the following in compensation:

  • Medical bills
  • The cost of physical therapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Lost income (or a reduction in your earnings capacity)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Third-party claims offer more compensation than workers’ compensation benefits, so it is always worth it to have a work injury attorney evaluate your options for a potential claim.

How Much Your Lifting Injury Case May Be Worth

If you have suffered a debilitating or permanent back injury, you may be entitled to more compensation than you think. You may have to pay significant medical bills for your treatment, and if you need a complicated back surgery, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars. When you have very high medical expenses, your pain and suffering damages will be more substantial. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to know how much your case is worth.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help You When You Have Suffered a Lifting Injury

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help You When You Have Suffered a Lifting Injury

When you hire a personal injury lawyer for your lifting injury case, they will do the following for your case:

  • Investigate the circumstances of your injury and gather evidence that shows someone else may be responsible for what happened
  • Determine whether you have a potential personal injury lawsuit against a third party or your employer
  • Estimate the value of your damages after reviewing your medical records and your situation
  • Prepare the lawsuit that begins your legal case
  • Try your case in court or negotiate a fair settlement that fully pays for your injuries.

It never hurts to speak with a lawyer, regardless of the situation, because the worst thing is that they may tell you you do not have the grounds for a lawsuit. Never make assumptions about a potential legal case and the strength of your claim; a lawyer can make that determination for you. Still, you may need a lawyer to help with your worker’s compensation claim, especially when you have a valuable settlement that you need to negotiate.

You Can Afford to Hire a Lawyer for Your Lifting Injury Case

It does not cost you anything to converse with a personal injury lawyer. They will not charge you anything upfront or ask for any money while your case is pending. You only pay a lawyer if you receive money for your case. You are not obligated to pay your attorney if you do not win your case or receive any money as proceeds. Thus, you can afford legal help in your lifting injury case.

Let a Work Injury Attorney Assess Your Rights at a Free Consultation

Suffering a lifting injury can be a painful and debilitating experience. Whether it’s a strained back, a herniated disc, or a torn muscle, these injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to work and live your life to the fullest. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but understanding your rights and navigating the legal process can be overwhelming. That’s where a work injury attorney can help.

When you hire a work injury attorney, you are not just hiring legal representation. You are hiring someone who understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a lifting injury can take on your life. They will take the time to listen to your story, gather evidence, and assess the strength of your case. Their goal is to determine if you have a valid claim and to fight for the compensation you deserve.

One of the most valuable services that a work injury attorney provides is a free consultation. During this initial meeting, you will have the opportunity to share the details of your lifting injury and ask any questions you may have. The attorney will assess the merits of your case and explain the legal options available to you. They will provide personalized advice and guidance based on the specifics of your situation.

Jacque Hawk, Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Augusta
Jacque Hawk, Work Injury Lawyer

Don’t underestimate the importance of this free consultation. It is an opportunity to gain valuable insight into your rights and potential legal remedies. It allows you to make an informed decision about whether pursuing a claim is the right choice for you. Plus, it gives you the chance to determine if the work injury attorney is the right fit for your needs.

If you have suffered a lifting injury, don’t go through the legal process alone. Let a personal injury lawyer assess your rights at a free consultation. They will be your advocate, fighting for the compensation you deserve and helping you get your life back on track. Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging time on your own.