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Can I Get Workers’ Compensation in Columbia, SC for Chronic Pain?

Date: March 16, 2022
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation in Columbia, SC for Chronic Pain? 1

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you know how serious the effects can be for you and your loved ones. Luckily, workers’ compensation benefits are in place to ensure that you get the medical treatment you need, you can heal properly, and you can resume your normal routine quickly — all of which should be covered by your employer. 

And, for many, that’s how the process usually goes. However, for others left with chronic, debilitating pain even after their injury is treated, the process gets a little more complex. 

Although fully legitimate, chronic pain is more difficult to claim in workers’ compensation cases, mostly because its causes are not completely understood. But if you can prove it’s directly caused by a clearly documented workplace accident, you have a good case. Below, we’ll break down more about chronic pain — including what it is, how it’s diagnosed, and how a workers’ compensation attorney in Columbia, SC can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

What Is Chronic Pain? 

After a workplace injury, some people may continue to experience pain even after they’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Chronic pain is any pain that lasts at least three months from the initial onset of symptoms, and cannot be resolved by various forms of treatment after reaching MMI. 

2 Common Types of Chronic Pain

In many cases, chronic pain is attributed to a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS presents itself in one of two forms: CRPS-1 and CRPS-2. 

  • CRPS-1 – Also known as Reflect Sympathetic Dystrophy, it involves soft tissue injuries like burns, tears, sprains, and strains with no underlying nerve damage. It includes chronic conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis. 
  • CRPS-2 – Also known as causalgia, it involves injuries to major nerves, usually as a result of blunt force trauma or a penetrating wound. It can present itself immediately, or it can arise months to years after the injury. 

The symptoms of CRPS-1 and CRPS-2 can vary from person to person, and can even change over time. Some of them include:

  • Stiffness in affected joints
  • Muscle coordination problems
  • Abnormal limb movements
  • Changes in skin texture of the affected area
  • Abnormal sweating pattern in the affected area
  • Changes in nail and hair growth patterns

How Is Chronic Pain Diagnosed and Treated?

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for chronic pain, you need a professional diagnosis. There are many diagnostic methods that healthcare professionals use, including blood tests, ultrasounds, thermography, electrodiagnostic testing, x-rays, and MRIs. 

If you’re experiencing chronic pain from a workplace accident, it’s important that you get these tests done and documented as soon as possible. The documentation of the results of these tests is critical in getting the compensation you deserve for treatment, which could include various forms of physical therapy, psychotherapy, medications, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulations, and more. 

Understanding the Complexity of Workers’ Compensation for Chronic Pain

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from workplace injuries find it difficult to manage their chronic pain symptoms. This is mainly due to three reasons: the severity of the pain, the skepticism they face from employers and insurers, and/or the difficulty of proving their chronic pain stems directly from the workplace accident. 

Treatment of chronic pain can last for several years, sometimes even the workers’ entire life. Therefore, employers and their insurers have to pay significant costs to cover them — and since that negatively affects their profits, they’ll usually work hard to find a way to deny the claim. Without proper diagnosis, documentation, and legal counsel, it can be difficult to prove how your injuries and pain are still derived from the accident, especially after months or years have passed. 

How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbia, SC Can Help You

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are experiencing any form(s) of chronic pain because of it, you deserve to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer and their insurer. Hiring a Columbia, SC workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure you make the best case for yourself. 

By understanding the neurological and psychological impact of chronic pain in your life, and by maintaining up-to-date knowledge on American Medical Association (AMA) guidelines, a workers’ compensation attorney can aid in the fight to get the benefits you’re entitled to. They’ll guide you in getting the proper diagnosis and documentation you need, and they’ll always work with your best interests in mind. They can help take a little bit of the stress out of what can be a very stressful, painful process. 

Looking for help with your workers’ compensation claim? Contact Bernstein and Berstein. Our team is your local, Columbia, SC source for thorough and responsive legal action. We handle each case personally to ensure that you’re taken care of both during the legal process and afterward.