Workers' Comp Neck Injuries
Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Attorney
Neck injuries can be particularly scary and complicated. It’s important to consider a variety of treatments with consideration first being given to the most conservative care as recommended by a physician. Invasive surgeries are risky, so I recommend that you keep an open mind as to all other avenues to improve. I have handled cases involving neck injuries since 2011, and I can help you with your case as well.
How much is a settlement for a neck injury that took place while working?
This depends on numerous factors. There is no one answer. As to what the average settlement for a work comp spinal fusion or the average workers’ comp settlement for a herniated disc, the answers to these questions also depend on many factors, which I realize can be frustrating. There is not a single proper response, and there are no such averages. Although it may feel annoying to read an “it depends” answer to some of your most pressing questions, let me explain why this is so.
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 neck are affected;
- Whether medication that you’ve been taking for your neck 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 neck and the rest of your body as much as possible is the goal.
How much do insurance companies pay for pain and suffering?
Neck injuries usually involve a lot of pain, so you might be wondering, “How much do insurance companies pay for pain and suffering?” This is a good question. There is no monetary recovery that is available for “pain and suffering” in the land of workers’ compensation in California, even though damages for “pain and suffering” are available when you’re in an accident that does not involve your work. This is simply the way the work comp laws were written. “Pain and suffering” is considered to a small degree as part of the provisions put forth in the AMA Guides, but this is something that is best described over the phone or in person because this issue can get quite complicated. The main point is that there are no separate damages allowable under the workers’ compensation scheme for “pain and suffering.” This decision was a political trade-off when the laws were being developed so that workers could receive benefits more quickly while employers could avoid the risk of being sued under the “personal injury” theory. Although this might not give you the warm & fuzzies, it’s the truth.
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.
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.