After suffering a back injury at work, employees could qualify for workers' compensation benefits. However, they often ask: how much does workers' comp pay for back injury claims? The answer isn't straightforward; it depends on many factors. Therefore, it's crucial to understand how the system works and the calculations used to determine the benefits.
Workers' compensation is considered a no-fault insurance system; most employers must provide it to employees. The program offers assistance for lost wages and some medical benefits to workers who were injured on the job, regardless of fault.
In most cases, people have the right to get workers' comp benefits. However, it's challenging to navigate the process to obtain benefits. This is especially true for back injuries because of fraudulent claims.
Overall, it's wise to contact a workers' compensation attorney from Tom Fowler Law. They will help people understand how much compensation they can get from a back injury and receive assistance throughout the claims process. They can also help answer questions like how much does workers comp pay for lost wages?
Back Injuries Might Require a Workers' Compensation Claim
Back injuries typically affect the person's musculoskeletal system. This includes the cartilage, soft tissue, joint discs, nerves, spine, and spinal cord.
Here are a few common back injuries that happen in the workplace:
Herniated disc injuries
Spinal cord injuries
These injuries lead to various impairments for the victim. They may be unable to work or move correctly.
Likewise, a back injury could lead to other injuries because the person now has to stand or walk differently than before. Jobs requiring manual labor tasks are the most frequent sites for back injuries in the workplace. However, they can affect employees in any industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 38.5 percent of all work-related issues resulting in days off work were related to the back in 2016. Though it doesn't indicate how severe those injuries were, it does suggest that many people saw back injuries that year. This has likely risen over the last few years.
Common Causes of Back Injuries at Work Leading to an Injury Settlement
Back injuries are considered a common occupational health problem that result from many causes. They can be debilitating and painful, often leading to significant medical expenses and lost productivity.
Common types of back injuries that happen in the workplace can include:
Repetitive Movements - Jobs involving repetitive twisting, bending, and lifting, such as those in construction and manufacturing, might lead to trauma over time.
Heavy Lifting - People who use improper lifting techniques, including using poor body mechanics and lifting objects much too heavy, could strain the structures in the back and hurt the muscles.
Slips, Falls, and Trips - Workplace accidents can include tripping and slipping, which results in a sudden jolting or twisting of the back.
Poor Ergonomics - Inadequate design of chairs, workstations, and equipment could lead to poor posture and back strain.
Awkward Postures - Maintaining an uncomfortable or awkward posture for long periods can stress and strain the back. This includes working in confined spaces or sitting incorrectly at a desk.
Overexertion - Excessive physical strain, including carrying heavy loads, pulling, and pushing, could strain the ligaments and back muscles.
Reaching and Stretching - Reaching for things on high shelves and stretching unsafely to get objects could strain the back muscles.
Vibration - Prolonged exposure to vibrations when operating heavy machinery could lead to back issues in time.
Inadequate Rest Breaks - Not alternating between tasks or not having enough rest breaks can lead to fatigue, which increases the risk of a back injury.
Workplace Violence - Workplace violence can cause physical injuries to the back.
Falls from Heights - Construction and roofing often involve working at heights. If one falls, they could require medical treatment because of a work-related back injury.
Prevention of back injuries is crucial and requires proper training, safety guideline adherence, and ergonomic designs. Employers should have safety programs in place, but employees must be responsible, following those work practices and using appropriate equipment when possible.
Average Workers' Comp Settlement for a Back Injury
Workers' compensation settlements differ from traditional personal injury claims. In fact, a back injury settlement will not compensate for non-economic damages, including loss of quality of life and pain and suffering. However, most workers' comp programs offer lost-wage and medical benefits to injured workers. Here is a deeper look at the options:
An injured worker can receive medical benefits from workers' comp at no cost to them. Benefits often include mileage reimbursements for medical appointments and pharmacy visits. People are reimbursed for all medical treatment through the insurance company. This includes physical therapy, medical bills, and everything else.
However, employees must use authorized medical providers for treatment. If they get care from an unauthorized doctor, they may be required to cover the cost of their expenses.
Wage Loss Benefits
Workers' compensation insurance doesn't compensate employees for all their lost income. The amount they get and how long they receive it depends on the disability suffered and the work-related injury. Depending on the disability, it's possible to retrieve 80 percent of the average weekly wages for up to 104 weeks. These wages aren't taxable, so the take-home amount should not decrease significantly.
Likewise, workers' compensation offers vocational rehabilitation services to help employees get back to work. Overall, the compensation amount received depends on what disability category the employee is assigned to.
Workers' Comp Categories
Disability benefits in workers' compensation claims fall into these categories:
Permanent Partial Disability - This is a permanent injury resulting in lifetime impairment from working.
Permanent Total Disability - This prevents a person from ever returning to work.
Temporary Partial Disability - This prevents the person from doing some of their work duties for a short period of time.
Temporary Total Disability - This prevents a person from working at all for a short period of time.
Work with Tom Fowler Law for a Workers' Compensation Settlement
Suffering from work-related back injuries can be detrimental to an employee. It's wise for them to contact a workers comp law firm in Des Moines to receive a free consultation.
The skilled attorneys at Tom Fowler Law can help people understand their legal rights and may assist in filing a workers' comp back injury claim through the employer's insurance company. Injured workers can call to get paid back for medical expenses and lost wages and to see what their average settlement amount might be.