The Freibott Law Firm was recently successful in prosecuting a case on behalf of one of its clients at the Industrial Accident Board. Our client injured her low back when she was lifting heavy boxes of frozen chicken onto a table to be taken out into the store. When she was lifting one of the boxes, she felt a pop and burning sensation in her low back and left side. She tried to work through her pain and did not formally report the injury. She was hoping that her injury would get better because she did not want to the injury to affect any part of her employment. After several weeks of the back injury getting progressively worse, she finally reported it to the employer.
The employer tried to have our client process her injury through short term disability. After that claim was denied, the employer then denied her claim stating that she had waited too long to report the injury. Our client then sought the treatment of an orthopaedic surgeon who provided an opinion that our client needed surgery. After a hearing, the Industrial Accident Board found that our client’s version of the events was credible; that our client’s non reporting of the injury for several weeks was reasonable in light of her hope that the injuries would get better on their own; and that her version of the events were consistent not only to the employer but also to her medical providers. Accordingly, the Industrial Accident Board found that our client’s back injury was related to an incident that occurred at work and awarded ongoing total disability; compensability for all outstanding medical bills; gave authority for our client to proceed with surgery; ordered the employer to pay for our client’s expert witness fee; and, finally, ordered the employer to pay an attorney fee in prosecuting the petition. (Brittingham v. Delaware Supermarkets, Hearing No.: 1376088, November 5, 2012)