Hernias and Workers' Compensation

Hernias can be extremely painful. Some require surgery to repair. If you suffered from a hernia because of your job, could you afford to take time off from work to allow your hernia to heal? What if you needed surgery? Even with health insurance, surgery can include high deductibles. Could you afford pain medication? Unless you have someone who can help you with your monthly expenses, you may find yourself facing a grave situation.

How Can Workers’ Compensation Help You?

If you suffer from a hernia on the job, you may be entitled to help through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. It is required for most employers to purchase it by state law. As an employee, you do not have to pay anything out of pocket to use it. If you are hurt on the job, you file a claim. The benefits that you receive will depend on how severe of an injury you receive while on the job.

One of the most well-known benefits of workers’ compensation insurance is that workers who are hurt can get help with their medical expenses. This can be highly beneficial in the case of hernias. Hernias are painful. You may need pain medication. You may need follow-up visits to the doctor. In some cases, people who have hernias need surgery. If your hernia is directly related to your work, you may qualify for help with these items.

Assistance with lost wages is another benefit of workers’ compensation. If you are unable to work while you recover from your hernia, you may be entitled to receive a portion of your wages. This is like a safety net for workers who are hurt on the job.

There are other benefits available through workers’ compensation, but you may not qualify for every benefit offered. It will depend on the severity of your hernia. However, keep in mind that to qualify for any benefits, you must first file a workers’ compensation claim.

Risk of Hernia While Working

A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue in your body pushes through a weak spot or a tear in muscle tissue. Common hernias include inguinal (which occurs in the inner groin), femoral (which occurs in the outer groin), umbilical (involving the belly button), and hiatal (involving the upper stomach).

Firefighters, law enforcement, warehouse workers, and mechanics are some of the most common occupations that develop hernias of some type because of their work. This is because these jobs (and others) require a lot of physicality. If you regularly lift heavy items or move heavy items in some way, you are at risk of developing a hernia.

Very few hernias are life threatening, but they can occur. Primarily hernias are very painful. Hiatal hernias often cause gastroesophageal reflux. Symptoms of hernias include pain or discomfort, weakness or pressure in the abdomen, swelling, feeling a bulge, and chest pain.

How to File For Workers’ Compensation With a Hernia

Many different injuries can happen when you are on the job. Hernias, which can be very painful, can result from an accident while you are on the job. If you suffered a hernia while working, you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. Workers’ compensation laws vary from one state to the next, but the coverage is rather consistent.

Workers’ compensation includes medical benefits, which will cover the costs of your medical care to treat your hernia. Often, a hernia will require surgery. You will also have doctor visits and prescription medication.

You will also miss work while you are recovering from your injuries, and workers’ compensation will pay about two-third of your regular wages while you are recovering. Workers’ compensation can help your family through a trying time because a workplace injury can have a significant negative impact on your family.

What to Do If You Suffer a Hernia at Work

As soon as you realize you have suffered a workplace injury – or a hernia from your work duties – you should report it to a supervisor right away. You will need to maintain thorough documentation to support your claim. Depending on where you work, and what you were doing when you were injured, the entire accident may have been caught on surveillance video.

It is important to establish medical care right away. For a successful workers’ compensation claim, you will need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of a workplace accident.

This means that you will need to establish medical care right away and maintain thorough documentation of your injuries and your treatment. You should also keep track of your missed work and lost wages.

Ask any witnesses to your accident to provide you with written statements. If your claim is denied because your employer or their insurer doesn’t think your injury was work-related, corroborating witness statements can be very beneficial to your case. Maintain thorough documentation, including copies of medical records, copies of prescription receipts, receipts for medical devices, and copies of all your medical bills.

There are many different causes for hernias. Among those causes are:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Strenuous jobs
  • Strenuous physical activity

What is a Hernia?

If you feel a lump in the abdomen, it could be a sign of a hernia. Sometimes the lumps are small, soft, and painless, but at other times, it could be swollen and painful. Sometimes you can push the lump back in, but it will pop out again later.

Hernias happen when part of an abdominal organ, such as the bowel, intestine, fatty tissue, or bladder push through a weakened area or a tear in the abdominal tissues. Sometimes hernias occur in areas where the abdominal wall has already thinned or weakened, such as an area where there has been a past surgery. If the pressure in the abdomen increases by lifting or strenuous activities, a hernia can result.

There are different kinds of hernias that can result. Inguinal or groin hernias are the most common, occurring in the area where the skin creases and the top of the thigh joints the torso. Other kinds of hernias include the femoral hernia, umbilical hernias, obturator hernia, and spigelian hernia.

While some people experience no symptoms but only have the visible lump, others may experience a variety of symptoms, such as a heavy feeling the abdomen or groin, pain with a bowel movement, pain when lifting or moving something heavy, pain later in the day after standing a lot, or pain during urination.

Evidence That May Be Needed For a Hernia Claim

Sometimes hernias develop over time. This could be the result of your repetitive actions, such as ongoing heavy lifting being part of your job duties. You will need to show that your hernia wasn’t pre-existing and that your injuries weren’t there before the workplace accident. Sometimes you must provide past medical records to show that your hernia is indeed a result of the workplace accident.

The more supporting documentation that you can provide to support your claim, the more likely you are to be approved for workers’ compensation benefits for your hernia. Every state’s laws vary regarding workers’ compensation claims, so be sure to handle your claim in a timely manner, meet all deadlines, and provide the supporting documentation that your claim needs to be successful.

Potential Hernia Settlement Amounts

No two workers’ compensation claims are the same. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to tell you the value of your hernia claim, but there are several things that are given consideration when your claim is being calculated.

First, your medical bills will all be added up. Workers’ compensation should cover the cost of your medical care. If you will require future treatment, such as additional surgery or follow-up visits, those should be considered as well when determining the value of your case.

Any lost wages should also be considered. Also, include the costs of any future loss of earnings. You will want to be compensated for your future losses as well. When you settle your case, you will want to make sure all costs associated with your past expenses and future expenses are included in the totals.

Many legitimate workers’ compensation claims are denied, and often, benefits are stopped. Be sure to enlist the help of a workers’ compensation attorney so you can make sure you get your workers’ compensation claim underway in a timely manner.


What is the Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement for a Hernia?

You should be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for the expenses incurred due to a hernia as long as the hernia happened while at work or because of work you were carrying out for your employer.

Hernias are painful and usually mean you need treatment and time off work while your abdominal muscles heal. In some cases, the hernia is so severe that a return to work or the sort of work you were carrying out may be impossible.

Each workers’ compensation claim is different as the amount you are able to claim is based on a number of factors. Can the hernia be treated, e.g. by using hernia mesh surgery, without complications? Are there any long term complications which could mean continued treatment even if you are cleared to return to work? Is the injury so severe, or treatment so impractical that you may be left with a lifelong disability?

Workers’ compensation payments are basically made up of two main components. The first is compensation for all medical treatment, short or long term used to treat the hernia. This treatment may be by an employer’s preferred medical provider or by your own choice of provider but proof of costs will be needed to support your claim. The second component is compensation for lost wages, usually based on a specific fraction of the amount you should have earned if you could have been working.

  • A ballpark figure for a WC payment for a treatable hernia could be around $6,000.
  • For a hernia with more permanent ongoing treatment needs, this could rise to around $12,000.
  • Compensation for a permanent disability could be around $20,000.

Learn About Your Legal Rights

If you suffer from a hernia because of your job, you may be entitled to receive assistance through workers’ compensation. To learn more about your legal rights under the law, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney.

Workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Don’t put off your workers’ compensation claim any longer. Get a Free Case Evaluation today, so you can make sure your workers’ compensation claim is underway in a timely manner and that all evidence is preserved so it can support your workers’ compensation claim. If you wait too long, you cannot get a settlement or access the workers’ compensation benefits that you need.