Should I pursue compensation for an old work injury?
January 26, 2014 9:38 PM Subscribe
10 years ago, I worked as a secretary for a small business. Towards the end of my time there I was asked to lift something heavy and ended up injuring my back (herniated disk). Should I pursue some kind of compensation?
posted by EarthwormGin to Law & Government (16 answers total)
Back then I was a passive 19 year old and did not think I had the option of saying no to my boss when he asked me to move something heavy. I was used to him bossing me around, wanted to keep my job, and I never thought about a risk of permanent injury. And I was much taller than him so I figured maybe it made sense for me to do the lifting... despite the fact that I was an unathletic young female secretary in a skirt and he was the gym-going type.
I left the job not long after, so my boss never knew about my injury. I figured there's no point, it wouldn't heal me and he was operating a small business that probably couldn't afford to compensate me. Shortly after the incident it hurt to the point where I couldn't move to get out of bed in the mornings. That faded in the first year, and I've been functional since then, but the problem has been getting worse in recent years and now I can't bend over, straighten up after sitting for a long time, do certain exercises, lift much of anything, or even walk sometimes without pangs of pain when I move in the wrong direction. Less than a year after the incident a chiropractor diagnosed me with a herniated disc and did a therapy session but it did nothing for me so I never went back.
Is there any point in pursuing this, so long after the fact? Had I known this kind of long-term grief awaited me, I might have considered some form of compensation earlier. The guy was a jerk but not entirely evil and I have no desire to sink his small business. (If it matters, I was never technically an employee, I worked in his office for 2 years as an independent contractor.)