Category

Personal Injury

lower back injury in Toledo

What to Do After Suffering a Lower Back Injury

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Lower back injuries are fairly common, but they can leave a person sidelined and unable to sit or stand. Many of our clients cannot return to work for months following a lower back injury, and their medical expenses are considerable.

Below, our personal injury attorney highlights the steps to take if you are suffering from lower back pain. When an accident has caused your injury, please contact Groth & Associates for a free consultation.

Immediately Rest

Many lower back injuries are caused by accidents, such as car wrecks or slip and fall accidents. Others might be caused by the job, in which case you should immediately stop working. Tell your boss that you are injured. Continued exertion only increases the risk that you will aggravate the back injury further.

Visit the Doctor

There are many different causes of lower back pain, and we do not encourage people to self-diagnose their injury. Instead, go to the doctor or hospital promptly and discuss your symptoms. Your doctor will also ask you questions to help understand how the injury happened.

Some of the more common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Sprain or strain
  • Herniated disc
  • Vertebral fracture
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Infection
  • Narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis)

The doctor might order an X-ray or MRI to take a look at what is going on in your lower back. A proper diagnosis is vital since you cannot receive adequate treatment without knowing the underlying condition.

Treat a Sprain or Strain with Ice

If you wrenched your back lifting something, you can treat it with ice packs at home to reduce swelling and pain. You might also use over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen, to control inflammation and provide relief.

After a few days, your doctor might recommend introducing gentle stretching to regain flexibility in the area. If the pain does not subside after a week, you might have suffered a very serious injury and could require surgery.

Receive Conservative Treatment for a Lower Back Injury

Not every back injury requires surgery. Some respond to rehabilitation and other conservative treatment, such as steroid injections to reduce inflammation.

Physical therapy can help a person with a serious lower back injury reduce stress on the muscles and vertebrae. You might learn new ways of doing everyday tasks, such as lifting objects, so you do not aggravate your back condition. Often, a patient must learn to strengthen certain “core” muscles to compensate for any limitation in their back.

Undergo Surgery

Some lower back injuries are so serious that surgery is unavoidable. For example, a herniated disc might be so severe that a surgeon must remove the damaged tissue so it no longer puts pressure on nearby nerves. In some cases, vertebrae might need to be fused together to limit their range of movement.

Surgery has many complications, such as the risk of infection and long recovery times. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

Whether you were injured on the job or in an accident, you might qualify for compensation. At Groth & Associates, we can discuss your case in a complimentary consultation if you call.

injured at work in Toledo

In Ohio, What Constitutes a Work-Related Injury?

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Workers’ compensation benefits provide critical support for those suffering from work-related injuries. Many of our clients can receive reasonable medical expenses, along with partial wage replacement benefits. But what qualifies as a “work-related injury” for purposes of the workers’ compensation law? Our Ohio workers’ compensation attorney provides an overview of the law.

Injuries at Work

This is perhaps the clearest example of a work-related injury. If you were injured while working at your place of employment, you should qualify for benefits.

Injuries might result from a sudden accident, such as a fall or an explosion. If the shelves in your office collapse and the contents fall on you, then you have suffered a work-related injury.

By contrast, other injuries take time to develop, such as repetitive stress injuries or occupational illnesses. For example, someone who develops cancer from inhaling toxic chemicals over the course of years has suffered an occupational illness and should qualify for benefits. The same is true of someone who developed carpal tunnel syndrome slowly over the years of punching numbers into a computer.

Injuries away from Work

Under ORC §4123(C), an injury qualifies for benefits if the worker suffers it “in the course of” and “arising out of” their employment. Under this standard, injuries sustained away from work might qualify. For example, many people travel for their jobs or attend business functions as a representative of their company. If you are working when you were injured, then your injuries are possibly work-related.

This is a fact-specific analysis. For example, we want to see whether you are reimbursed for travel expenses and whether your employer required you to travel. These facts help show that the time away from the office was work-related.

Traveling to and From Work

You typically cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured driving to work or driving home when you have a fixed location for work. This is called the “coming and going” rule and it applies to those with “fixed-situs” jobs.

There are many factors to analyze with this type of claim. For example, do your work duties start only when you reach work? If so, then being injured while traveling to work does not qualify. Are you “on the clock” only when you reach a fixed location? If so, then the coming and going rule probably applies.

Pre-Existing Conditions

You might have been injured in an accident years ago, resulting in impairment. This pre-existing condition does not qualify as work-related. However, if your pre-existing condition was “substantially aggravated” on the job, then your injury is probably work-related.

For example, you might have herniated a disc while snowboarding three years ago. At work, you lift a heavy box and suddenly feel a pain in the same location, which makes it impossible for you to sit up or stand. Under these facts, your back injury is probably work-related.

Psychological Injuries

Generally, psychiatric conditions are excluded by the statute’s definition of an “injury.” However, there are exceptions, such as when the psychiatric condition develops out of an injury or occupational illness. Another exception covers psychiatric conditions that arise from forced sexual conduct, such as sexual assault at work.

Non-Covered Injuries

Some injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation. For example, any natural deterioration of an organ or body tissue does not qualify. Someone who naturally loses their eyesight has not been injured on the job.

An injury suffered when participating in fitness or recreational activity sponsored by an employer also does not qualify when the employee signs of a waiver.

Contact Us Today

Whether an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is not always easy. Groth & Associates can review your case and help you decide the right step to take. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

Which Dogs Tend to Bite the Most?

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Dogs rank high among America’s favorite pets, but not all of these canines are friendly. Dog bite statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than 344,000 people seek emergency medical treatment for injuries every year. Victims are devastated by physical pain, but the emotional and financial implications can be just as extreme. Ohio laws do provide you with options if you were hurt in an animal attack, but it’s difficult to know what to do because of the complicated laws regarding liability.

If you were injured under such circumstances, your first priority should be retaining a Toledo dog bite lawyer who will strive to recover monetary damages for your losses. Some information about the types of dogs that tend to bite may also help you understand the risks.

Statistics on Dog Bites by Breed

There’s no absolute test for what dog breeds are dangerous, so much analysis focuses on the frequency and extent of the harm for the human victim. Data indicates that Chihuahuas, Papillion, and Lhasa Apso breeds are the most likely to bite. However, the dog breeds that are most likely to cause serious, scarring injuries are:

  • Pit bulls;
  • Bulldogs;
  • German and Australian Shepherds;
  • Bull terriers;
  • Rottweilers;
  • Pinschers; and,
  • Mixed breeds.

Liability in Ohio Dog Bite Claims

Ohio is one of several US states that follows the strict liability theory for dog bite injuries. A victim who suffers a bite or any other type of injury can pursue the animal’s owner for damages without the legal requirement of showing fault. This rule is different from other jurisdictions where it’s necessary to show that the dog had bitten or showed other types of aggression in the past. Still, there are other theories of liability in dog bite claims, such as:

  • Negligence, if the dog’s owner failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care in controlling the animal; and,
  • Negligence per se, where the owner violated a law related to securing, handling, or leashing. Many Ohio counties and local governments have enacted statutes on these issues.

Compensation in Ohio Dog Bite Cases

The losses for a dog bite victim extend beyond the physical pain, since there are often emotional implications. Whether your claim proceeds according to statutory law or negligence concepts, you may qualify to recover a wide range of monetary damages. Examples include:

  • Medical costs for treatment, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, and related expenses;
  • Costs for psychiatric and/or psychological treatment;
  • Lost wages;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and,
  • Many more.

Speak to a Toledo, OH Dog Bite Attorney About Your Rights

At Groth & Associates, our lawyers know that an animal attack is scary and carries many more losses than you might expect. We’re dedicated to assisting you with the claims process to get the compensation you deserve under Ohio law, including medical costs, pain, and suffering. To learn more about your options, please contact our office in Toledo. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 419.482.1176 or filling out on our online request form.

COVID-19 NOTICE:

We are OPEN: we use email, phone and video conferencing to serve our clients remotely

X