“Put your back into it,” they said. You did, and you ended up throwing your back out. Back injuries at work have decreased in frequency over the last few years, according to statistics from the US Bureau of Labor (BLS), dropping from 183,100 in 2011 to 142,230 in 2018. However, they still account for around 20% of all workplace injuries and illnesses. They are one of the foremost reasons for days off work.

Back injuries can occur due to a one-off incident, such as trying to pick up a heavy load. Or they can be cumulative due to repeating the same actions day after day at work, such as bending and twisting in a Minnesota meatpacking plant.

If you suffer a back injury at work, you might be tempted to pop some painkillers and carry on, but this is not wise. Your back needs rest. Carrying on could worsen your condition. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover your medical expenses and materials, lost wages and any rehabilitation you need. Remember, while some back injuries heal quickly, they will often leave you weaker. Returning to the same role with the same responsibilities may just not be possible.

Your employer’s workers’ insurance company may try to deny your claim by saying you had a pre-existing back condition. However, if you aggravated it at work and are suffering as a consequence, you are entitled to claim compensation. You will need the services of an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney to argue your point.