Neck pain isn't always debilitating, but it can impair your ability
to work. In some cases, it can keep you from doing your job altogether.
If you're suffering from work-related neck pain, you've probably
wondered if you can collect workers' compensation.
The short answer to this question is
it depends; workers' compensation law is fairly complex, and involves variables
unique to your injury, job, and workplace.
WAS IT AN "ON-THE-JOB" INJURY OR NOT?
The first question you should ask is this: is my neck pain the result of
a work-related injury? If not, your workers' compensation coverage
will not provide for any financial obligations caused by your neck pain.
Defining an on the job injury isn't always simple though. Certain
accidents can be covered by workers' compensation even if they occur
off the workplace premises. These might include:
Driving a company car. If you sustain an injury while driving a company car for work-related
activities or tasks, you can seek financial compensation for injuries.
If, for example, you were rear-ending and sustained a neck injury, you
could seek compensation for the accident.
Attending a company social event. Sometimes, work parties and other social events don't take place on
the workplace premises. However, you can typically seek compensation for
minor injuries (such as a neck injury) if your employer sponsored the event.
Lunch breaks. If your lunch break was technically part of your job, such as meeting
a client at a restaurant, you can still seek financial compensation for
your neck injury. Standard lunch breaks may not fall into this category, though.
WHAT ABOUT REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES?
A repetitive stress injury (or repetitive motion injury) can lead to ongoing
medical problems. This type of injury might include repeated lifting or
other strenuous physical activities. If you sustain a neck injury because
of some ongoing motion or stress linked to your job, you can seek money
for treatment through a workers' compensation claim.