Neck, Back, Head and Psychiatric Injuries

Neck and back injuries do not heal well and can sometimes lead to psychiatric issues as a result.  After injuries are treated, most workers are then put back in the same work environment that caused the original injury and the vicious cycle of injury continues.  The workers’ compensation lawyers at Cantor & Burger can help break that cycle for you and get you paid for your spine injury caused by work. Our attorneys represent your personal injury claim and fight to win your case from the start.

In this video, Mark Cantor explains the Missouri workers’ compensation claims process for back, neck and spine injuries. He discusses the common roadblocks that you may encounter when filing a claim for a work related back injury. Since Missouri workers’ compensation laws do not compensate injured workers for pain and suffering, Mark notes that your lawyer should fight for you to receive all benefits available to you under the law including pain management and psychiatric care.

Neck Injuries

A neck injury, mid back or low back injury can change your life forever.  Your neck, medically called your cervical spine, can easily be injured on the job.  When your spine is injured and causes you pain, it is usually because a disc in your spine has been damaged and is affecting the surrounding nerves.  Neck injuries can occur from heavy lifting at work, auto accidents or slips and falls.  Often, neck injuries are associated with rotator cuff injuries, assaults, repetitive trauma and other fact patterns.  Cantor & Burger has handled paralysis and death cases that have arisen out of serious neck injuries. Any injury or pain to your neck while on the job needs to be treated seriously by a doctor and your lawyer.  The sooner that you hire an attorney, the better off you will be pursuing your neck injury claim.

According to the workers’ compensation chart, the neck is only worth 400 weeks of pay in Missouri.  If you have a herniated disc in your neck, and after surgery your disability is rated at 5% of the body, insurers will argue that they only owe you 20 weeks of pay.  Cantor & Burger believes that this is an insufficient amount to compensate you for your permanent partial or permanent total disability.  At Cantor & Burger we have tried and won neck injury cases where the initial offer was $7,000.00 and we recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars including sanctions.  See the case of Dale Weida v. Stepbrothers Bridge & Iron.

 

Back Injuries

Your low back or lumbar spine can easily be injured at work.  These injuries generally occur from heavy lifting, slips and falls, twisting and other occupational hazards – but we have seen thousands of different fact patterns in back cases over our many years of practice.  Just like the thoracic or cervical injury, the low back or lumbar injury is valued based on 400 weeks.  We have also handled paralysis and death cases that have arisen out of serious back injuries. Any back injury or pain to your back while on the job needs to be treated seriously by your employer, medical provider and attorney.

Mark Cantor and Gary Burger are experts at maximizing recovery for back injury claims.  In Missouri, your back injury is worth a percentage of 400 weeks of pay based on a workers’ compensation chart, or what we call the “meat chart”, where the legislature has divided up each body part into weeks of disability.  Often, employer/insurers claim that your injury is arthritic or caused by degenerative change.  Their “expert” physicians will rate you at a 0% disability and state that your back injuries were not caused by work. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Cantor & Burger will fight to prove that your injury is not degenerative, but a result of a work injury.

If you have a herniated disc in your low back, have surgery and then have an evaluation by the insurance company where your disability is rated at 5% of the body, it will be their argument that they only owe you 20 weeks of pay.  At Cantor & Burger we believe that this is insufficient compensation for your permanent partial or permanent total disability.  At Cantor & Burger, we will send you to our own expert for an independent medical exam.  Our doctors frequently find disabilities of 40% or 50% or even permanent and total disability.  This is usually in stark contrast to the employer’s or insurance company’s hired and biased physicians.

In the above scenario where our rating is 40 versus their rating of 5, if the case then resolves for 25% of the body as a whole you would be awarded 100 weeks of disability.  The actual dollar amount is dependent upon the amount that you earn per week.  At Cantor & Burger, we will assist you in making sure that the employer uses the proper rate and pays the proper amount of disability for your claim or we will go forward and have a trial in your matter before an Administrative Law Judge who will hear the case and determine the proper amount that you are owed.

In order to win neck and back injury cases, you need an attorney who can try your case for you and has the experience and expertise in Missouri workers’ compensation cases to win.  Your attorney should hire an expert for an independent medical evaluation, commonly referred to as a rating exam, and that physician’s opinion will need to be secured both in the form of a written report and a deposition.  A deposition is simply a sworn statement under oath and, to be admitted as evidence at trial, the opposition must have an opportunity to cross examine your expert’s opinion.  At Cantor & Burger, we pay for all these expenses and per our agreement for representation, you do not owe us any money unless we win.

If you injure your neck, back, low back or spine at work, we can help.  After securing the necessary medical care you need and your lost wages, we will maximize your financial recovery for your back injury claim. We encourage you to call us immediately if you have a low back injury at (314) 542-9999 so that we can begin protecting your rights as early in the case as possible.

 

Head Injuries

The brain is arguably the most important part of the body as it controls our thoughts and actions.  The Missouri workers’ compensation system is not set up to fairly treat head injuries or brain injuries.  According to the “meat chart,” if you suffer a head injury in Missouri any injury to your brain is only worth a portion of 400 weeks of disability payment.  At Cantor & Burger we believe that head and brain injuries deserve adequate compensation.  We routinely hire experts including psychiatrists and neurophysiologists to determine the effect of close head injuries on injured workers.  Frequently, people with close head injuries have psychiatric issues including depression and headaches.  These disabilities should be treated separately from any other physical injury suffered as a result of the head injury. It is important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if you suffer a head injury.  Contact Cantor & Burger at (314) 542-9999, so that we can begin to maximize your recovery in your personal injury case.

At Cantor & Burger, we successfully handled a case of permanent total disability for a person that fell from a ladder and struck their head.  Following the fall, that person had significant memory loss, headaches and a personality change.  We were able to argue that as a result of the head injury and memory problems, the person was permanently and totally disabled and could never work again.  Eventually the employer settled and paid a large lump sum which allowed the claimant to also receive social security disability.  If you have the misfortune of sustaining a head injury at work please call us at 314-542-9999 so we can get you all the medical attention, lost wages, and lump sum payment you deserve for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.

 

Psychiatric Disability

Psychiatric injuries are difficult claims to make in Missouri workers’ compensation.  However, Cantor & Burger routinely handles psychiatric claims as components of other very serious injuries such as back fusions, amputations, and injuries which can lead to depression in addition to the physical injury.

Cantor & Burger will also represent you in a psychiatric claim if the psychiatric stress of your event is so overwhelming that any person under the same or similar circumstance is likely to have had a psychiatric result.  For instance, we have successfully handled rape cases, armed robbery cases and cases where injured workers were brutally attacked and beaten.

The above cases are the exception to the rule.  Generally, the psychiatric claims that we handle come from very serious back injuries or neck surgeries that cause our Claimant’s to have depression.  If you think that you have a psychiatric injury that meets the above criteria for a Missouri workers compensation claim, please call so that we may discuss the possibility of representing you.

The sooner that you hire an attorney, the better off you will be pursing your psychiatric disability claim.  Please call us at (314) 542-9999 so we can get you all the medical attention, lost wages, and lump sum payment you deserve for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.

 

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