Spinal cord injuries are rare, but workers do suffer them on the job occasionally. Someone who drives as part of their job or who operates heavy machinery may have more risk of a spinal cord injury. Those who work at an elevation, such as window washers or tree removal professionals, could also hurt their spines if they fall on the job.
Spinal cord injuries account for some of the most expensive workers’ compensation claims. Workers will likely require trauma care and physical therapy, if not surgery and prosthetic devices to help them recover after a spinal cord injury. They may also need months off of work or may never be able to work the same kind of profession again. Is a medical recovery possible for workers who hurt their spines?
With the right care, one kind of spinal cord injury may improve
You can divide spinal cord injuries into two primary categories. Complete spinal cord injuries sever the spinal cord. Despite advances in modern medicine, there are still no treatments available that can reverse the damage caused by a complete spinal cord injury.
However, not all spinal cord injuries fully sever the spinal cord. They may partially tear it or pinch it, causing negative consequences for someone’s motor function and sensation below the injury site. Those with an incomplete spinal cord injury could potentially recover some of their physical sensation or some control of their affected body parts.
Some people will only need rest to recover, while others may need years of therapy and surgery to regain function caused by an incomplete spinal cord injury.
How much will workers’ compensation cover?
Spinal cord injuries are notoriously among the most expensive injuries possible. Those with complete injuries high on their spine could have more than a million dollars and just medical bills the first year after their injury, and more than $100,000 worth of medical care required every year for the rest of their life after the injury.
Although workers’ compensation won’t necessarily provide the most cutting-edge therapies, it will approve all standard and necessary care related to an on-the-job injury. You may also be able to receive disability benefits while you recover or permanent partial disability pay if you have to move to a lower-paying profession because of your injury.
Learning more about the costs and consequences of spinal cord injury will help you get workers’ compensation benefits if you hurt your back on the job.