Workers' Comp Back Injuries
Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Attorney
If you have injured your back while working, you are not alone. I, myself, injured my back while working as a waitress many years ago, so I have a unique understanding of what you’re going through. More importantly, I have litigated hundreds of cases involving back injuries and will aggressively fight for your right to treatment and benefits.
How much you should expect from a back injury settlement depends on a wide variety of factors.
There is no one answer. There is not even an average answer. Although this may seem frustrating, this is because the following factors are the minimum points that any attorney must know in order to value your case:
- The diagnosis;
- The results of any diagnostic testing;
- Whether multiple parts of the back are affected;
- Whether medication that you’ve been taking for your back has resulted in other injuries;
- What the AMA Guides Fifth Edition says about your injury (this is a highly complicated, authoritative book that influences the value of your case; you can find it for purchase here);
- Your occupation at the time of injury;
- Your age at the time of injury; and
- The rating of each impairment in combination with any other injuries after considering occupation and age in accordance with the State’s Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities (commonly referred to as the “rating schedule”); typically, this is how a workers’ comp settlement is calculated.
Some injured workers are concerned about the value of a workers’ comp settlement for a herniated disc or a disc bulge (these are not identical, but many people use these terms interchangeably). Again, the answer to this question depends on many things. For instance, a 1-millimeter disc bulge is not considered to be an injury that results in significant impairment, whereas a 13-millimeter disc bulge would be. But we want to try to get you treated by a physician so that your situation can improve as much and as soon as possible. So, even if you have a large disc bulge, treatment should be implemented so that you can alleviate it. Sometimes, it can’t be done, but restoring your back and the rest of your body as much as possible is the goal.
If you decide to file a claim for your back injury, how long can a workers’ comp claim stay open?
The length of your case once you file an application with the WCAB can vary widely depending not only on the facts revolving around your injury but also on your goals as well as the goals of the employer or insurance carrier. On one hand, cases can be settled at any time (even the same day that you are injured). On the other hand, cases can last decades. It is important that you and your attorney work out a plan that is consistent with your goals and your best interests, but you also want your attorney to give you a realistic picture of how the California workers’ compensation scheme limits your rights against your employer. For instance, there is no monetary recovery that is available for “pain and suffering” as an injured worker against your employer, even though damages for “pain and suffering” are available when you’re in an accident that does not involve your work.
Your attorney should be able and willing to explain all of the above to you. If you would like me to help you with your case, please feel free contact me at any time. Call (424) 388-1001.
Free Case Consultation
I personally review every case that is submitted to me. If you have a question about your workers' comp case, let me know the details, and I'll contact you as soon as possible to discuss how I can help you.