Visitor Question

What can I do if back pain from prior injury is returning?

Submitted By: Anonymous (New Jersey)

I am a union mason bricklayer and have been in this trade for over 25 years. A few years ago I hurt my back and did physical therapy using my health insurance plan. I woke up last week with the same type of pain – only much worse.

I took 5 days off work to rest and hopefully recover enough to go back to work. I DID alert my boss as to why I had to take time off, and did inform them of the injury at the time it happened. I have gone back to work for a few days and the pain is still there (less but still very painful).

I cannot put my socks on in the morning and have been taking max amount of NSAIDS, but have gotten no relief. My heath insurance does not pay for physical therapy anymore, and without it I cannot afford treatment.

Should I file a workmans comp claim so that I can at least get treatment that can help? What can I do in this situation? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

In determining whether your injury is compensable under your present workers compensation insurance will require showing your back injury was work-related. A work-related injury is an injury which occurs in the course of employment.

“In the course of employment” is defined as when workers are at their place of work, during the hours they are expected to be there, and engaged in doing the type of work they were hired to do.

See New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 34:15:1

Your employer may argue the pain you are now experiencing is not based on a work-related accident but rather due to your underlying preexisting injury. To be entitled to compensation now would require you to provide clear medical evidence (with supporting documentation) describing how your preexisting back injury is related to your current work injury.

From the facts you present, there is no evidence of that.  As a result, it is arguable the filing if a workers compensation claim may be denied.

Learn more here: Workers’ Comp & Pre-existing Conditions

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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