Back Pain and Workers' Compensation Claims

Even when you follow all of the safety requirements on the job, accidents can still happen. If you hurt your back during your shift at work, you may not be able to work. Missing work in some instances could result in lost wages. Do you have money saved to pay for your expenses while you recover? Workers who are hurt during their shift often qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employer.

Workers’ compensation benefits are required by law in each state for most employers. It helps provide for workers who are hurt on the job. It can help you with the cost of prescriptions, visits to the doctor, surgery, and even with various types of therapy. For injured workers who may not be able to work either temporarily or permanently, workers’ compensation may also provide a portion of their lost wages. In short, workers’ compensation provides a much needed safety net for injured workers.

Back Pain

Back pain is likely one of the most common issues that workers experience on the job. It can be caused by many things, but it can often be so severe that you are unable to stand, walk, or perform your job duties. Some ways that back pain may affect workers include:

  • Warehouse workers who move heavy boxes of product are at risk for minor injuries such as strains and severe injuries such as a ruptured disc.
  • Men and women who work in the healthcare profession, such as nurses, who lift patients could also experience severe back injuries. They may also develop painful repetitive stress injuries in their spine that causes back pain.
  • Mechanics may have an incident with a faulty jack or lift that causes a vehicle to fall on them and break or otherwise severely injure their back, leaving them with a lifetime of residual back pain.

How To File For Workers’ Compensation With Back Pain

If you have suffered a back injury while on the job, you will have mounting medical bills and you will be unable to work while you are recovering. Some back injuries are serious, affecting the accident victim for months – or even years – following the incident.

Back injuries can be debilitating and will require ongoing medical care. Your medical expenses can add up quickly. You will need to make sure you are familiar with the state laws regarding workers’ compensation claims where you live and work. You will need to make sure you follow all deadlines and adhere to proper protocol, so you don’t lose your chance to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay for a Back Injury?

The amount of money workers’ comp pays for a back injury ranges between $20,000 and $80,000, depending on the source of the data and the criteria used to calculate the average monetary values. Martindale-Nolo's research indicates the average workers’ compensation settlement for a back injury runs between $20,000 and $25,000.

The database managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) puts the average workers’ comp for a back injury between $40,000 and $80,000. OSHA factors in more expenses, such as the cost of vocational rehabilitation services.

Four factors determine the value of a worker’s comp settlement for a back injury:

  • Type and severity of a back injury
  • Inability to get back to work
  • Medical bills
  • Diagnosed with a disability

The type and severity of a back injury determine the other three factors that make up the value of a worker’s comp settlement. A severe back injury can make it impossible for a worker to complete typical daily job tasks. For example, a spinal cord injury usually prevents a worker from engaging in any type of physical activity, as well as requires an extensive rehabilitation program to alleviate the symptoms. The more severe a back injury, the higher the cost of medical bills.

If you cannot return to work because of a back injury, workers’ compensation includes financial assistance to cover lost wages. The goal is to find you a different job that accommodates your back injury symptoms. If you work a physically demanding job, then you might make the transition to a job in an office setting.

Receiving a diagnose of a disability might allow you to receive more financial assistance for a workers’ compensation settlement, as well as file a claim for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The Steps To Follow After Back Pain Related To Work

You should notify your employer as quickly as possible and explain that your pain is associated with your work duties. If it was an actual accident and not repetitive trauma, you should explain what happened. It is important to be sure to establish medical care right away. You must be able to prove your injuries were caused by the accident at work or from the repetitive trauma associated with your job.

You should jot down notes about what happened, how it happened, and your symptoms as soon as you can while it is still fresh in your memory. Also, ask any witnesses to provide you with written statements to back up your claim. Be sure your employer completes an accident report, as that is important to your workers’ compensation claim.

Keep a paper trail. Documentation and supporting evidence are essential to the success of your workers’ compensation claim. Keep medical bills, medical records, proof of missed work and lost wages, witness statements and the accident report. Remember, you must prove what happened, how it happened, and where it happened as well as show that you suffered your injuries directly because of your employment.

Evidence Needed For Back Claim Pain

You will need evidence that support your workers’ compensation claim for back pain. You will need t provide a detailed account of what happened, your medical bills and medical records, and witness statements. Sometimes when back pain is concerned, the employer or their insurer will try to allege that the injury was pre-existing or not the direct result of the workplace accident. If that is true, you may have to pull out old medical records to show that your current condition is new, and if you had a back problem in the past, it was effectively treated and had not been bothersome until your work-related incident.

Some places of employment may have surveillance cameras. If that is the case, your accident could have been caught on video. In that case, the video can be used as evidence in your workers’ compensation claim. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will ask that the video be used as part of the Freedom of Information Act since it was recording your work and everything that happened in the vicinity. The workers’ compensation claim process is detailed, and the protocol can vary from one state to another. You will need to make sure that you meet all deadlines and that everything is handled properly.

Potential Settlement Amounts For Back Pain

No two workers’ compensation claims are the same, even if they both involve back pain or back injuries. Several factors come into play, such as the severity of your injuries, how you will be affected by the injuries long-term, your lost wages, and your medical expenses. A workers’ compensation lawyer will review the details of your case and determine the value of your claim. With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to get a fair settlement.

When determining the settlement, the first thing reviewed would be any medical bills. This involves all medical expenses – hospital bills, physician bills, surgical procedures, prescriptions, and medical devices. Also, if you need any future medical care those expenses are added in. As an example, if your doctor believes you will need back surgery in the future, you will want to make sure those costs are covered.

All your lost wages are calculated plus any future loss of earnings will be added in. If you will miss work in the future, those lost hours are added up. If you must change jobs because of the severity of your injuries and the new job will pay less than the previous job that loss of earnings must be considered as well.

The Speed of Settling A Claim

Sometimes claims are resolved quickly while others take time. The severity of your injuries and the extent of your injuries will come into play. You don’t want to settle your claim before you are fully aware of the extent of your injuries and how much future medical care you will require and how your future earnings will be affected. If you resolve a claim too quickly, you could lose out on some compensation that could make a significant difference on your medical care and living expenses during your recovery.

Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be sure to look out for your best interests and will diligently work to ensure that your best interests are considered. Your attorney will be able to build your claim, gather supporting documentation, and then determine the value of your settlement. Because of the complexity of such cases, you should enlist the help of a workplace injury lawyer as quickly as possible.

When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, you will not have to pay for anything out of pocket. Workers’ comp lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means your attorney will not be paid until you win your claim. If you have back pain because of your job, schedule a free case evaluation with a workers’ compensation attorney who is licensed in your state today. Your attorney will make sure your claim is filed on time and that you get your workers’ compensation claim for back pain underway according to state laws.

Can You Get Pain and Suffering Through Workers’ Comp?

One of the most common questions asked by injured workers is whether or not their entitled to damages for their pain and suffering. Unfortunately, no. Damages for pain and suffering aren’t covered by workers’ compensation. However, the important thing to remember is that workers’ compensation still provides many helpful benefits to injured workers. However, to make sure that you get everything that you deserve, you should take the time to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Help Through Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation has many benefits. So, if you’re hurt on the job, you should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim right away. Potential benefits from workers’ compensation includes:

Help with your medical bills. If you’re hurt on the job, one of the main benefits you may receive is help with your medical expenses. This can include prescriptions, physical therapy for your back, and even surgery.

Portion of your wages. If you’re unable to work temporarily or even permanently because of your back pain, you may be able to receive at least a portion of your lost wages through workers’ compensation.

Vocational training. If your back pain means that you’ll no longer be able to engage in your chosen profession, you may be eligible to receive vocational training from workers’ compensation. This can help you learn a new skillset and get back on your feet.

Get Legal Help

To make sure that you get all of the workers’ compensation benefits for your back pain that you deserve, make sure that you get legal help. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.