Are you in pain due to a back injury you got while on the job? You’re not alone. In fact, back injuries are the most common among all work-related injuries accounted for in the United States. As anyone with a back injury knows, dealing with back pain can change not only the way you work, but the way you live. Everyday activities and hobbies become a struggle to accomplish, which can end up affecting your mental health, as well. That is precisely why it is so important to make sure you recover from your work-related back injury. To do that, you need to ensure that your workers’ compensation benefits cover all of the necessary medical expenses it takes to get you back on track. In this post, Jones Legal will answer your back injury questions, including “What’s the average workers’ comp back injury settlement?”
What are Common Causes of Work-Related Back Injuries and Pain?
Back injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders, make up nearly one-third of all workers’ compensation claims. This is an unfortunate fact, as it can seriously impact your performance at work as well as in your everyday life.
There are many ways that a back injury might present itself. A worker might experience sharp, constant pain or mild, intermittent pain. The injury may either cause brief impairment or life-long problems. It may merely be a nuisance to deal with or it could be completely debilitating. Overall, there are a multitude of pain levels and symptoms that a person might experience for different types of back injuries.
But how exactly do these injuries come about? Just as there are a number of symptoms of back pain, there are a number of different ways one might receive a back injury. A back injury can occur within any type of profession, from firefighting to office work. However, jobs that require constant strain, repetition, and force are more likely to put employees at risk. For example, construction and factory workers are prone to back injuries like herniated discs because they are often lifting heavy objects or working with heavy machinery.
Another common cause of back injury that not many people consider is inactivity. Sitting at a desk job all day might not seem dangerous, but if you consider factors like poor posture and inadequate back support, it can really do some harm.
Can I Receive Compensation For The Rest Of My Life Due To My Back Injury?
Under California law, all employers in the state must have workers’ compensation insurance in place, even if they only have a single employee. The benefits of workers’ comp insurance include medical care, permanent and temporary disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, death benefits, and return-to-work supplements.
There are cases where it may be possible to receive these benefits for the remainder of your life, but it is not common. If a doctor determines that your injury is one of permanent total disability, you may be able to receive compensation for the length of that disability. So, if your disability will be present for the rest of your life, your compensation may be, too.
However, in California, it is very difficult to achieve workers’ comp settlements for life. The average workers’ comp back injury settlement only allows compensation for 104 weeks within a period of five years. Certain conditions and injuries, including severe burns and chronic lung disease, may allow a worker to collect compensation for up to 240 weeks. For a worker in California to receive benefits for any longer than the maximum limit, the injury must be severe and debilitating enough to leave them incapable of ever returning to employment.
How Much Money Will Workers’ Compensation Payout for Lower Back Injury?
When an injured worker takes a workers’ compensation settlement, it may come as either a lump sum or installments over time. A lump sum payment, also known as a Compromise and Release, will come as one full payment immediately. Settlement figures vary significantly depending on things such as the:
- Extent of the injury
- Pain it causes/caused you
- Level of debilitation
- Proposed length of treatment
- Age of the claimant
- Occupation of the claimant
- Whether the claimant had any pre-existing injuries
- Whether any difficulties arose in the treatment of the injuries
A Compromise and Release is often compared to a settlement. Here, the insurance company provides one large payment that covers the benefits as well as any potential future medical care. This is generally done when the two parties, meaning the injured worker and the insurance company, want to settle the case and move on. Once a Compromise is paid, the two need no longer remain in contact.
Installments over time are what the court calls Stipulation with Request for Award. These can be paid over a specific period of either weeks, months, or years. The insurance company will pay the benefits out immediately, and will pay for future treatments as they become due over time.
A typical workers’ comp payout for a Stipulation in California is two-thirds of a person’s pre-tax wages. For example, if you make around $800 a week, your weekly benefits will probably be about $530. If you go by monthly installments with a monthly pay around $3200, you can expect your payout to be about $2130.
For both Compromises and Stipulations, the amount received mostly depends on the facts surrounding the claims. In either case, the average workers’ comp back injury settlement can range anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands.
Does a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Give You a Better Outcome? Is it Worth the Cost?
Having a California workers’ comp lawyer is extremely beneficial to the outcome of your case. You should never negotiate your own settlement with an insurance company. The goal of an insurance company is simple: try to pay as little as possible. To do this, they will likely try to discredit or downplay your claim as much as possible. An attorney will fight back on your behalf in order to accomplish their primary goal, which is to get you the highest settlement possible.
Once you finalize your settlement, there is no turning back. Oftentimes, people agree on a settlement and end up regretting it later on as they realize their injuries are far worse or more costly than they anticipated. That is why it is crucial to have professional legal help when filing workers’ compensation claims.
An attorney will discover the true value of your work-related injury and make sure that you don’t receive anything less than you deserve. Your attorney must consider any impairments, work restrictions, and future medical issues that may affect you as a worker. This requires a high volume of work and research.
In conclusion, yes. A workers’ comp lawyer does help you in achieving a better outcome. It can also help reduce stress on your part, as your attorney will assist you in navigating the legal process as smoothly as possible.
Reach Out to a Riverside Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you are a worker who received back injuries while on the job, you need Jones Legal on your side. A Riverside, CA workers’ comp attorney like Jennifer Jones can help ensure that your settlement is enough to cover any and all trips to doctors, potential surgeries, treatment, prescription costs, and more. Having someone who understands the California statutes and guidelines for workers’ compensation can make all the difference in your case’s outcome. If you have any more questions like “What’s the average workers’ comp back injury settlement?” or need to request an appointment, contact us! You can call 951-742-7213 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation today.