Back and spine injuries are one of the most common work injuries we see in injured workers. Whether you injure your back or spine from lifting an object in the office or working a physically demanding job, you may need treatment for that injury.
When you injure your back or spine in a work accident, you can possibly settle your workers’ compensation case. The settlement value of your back or spine injury will depends on several factors.
These factors include, among others, what injuries you have, what your compensation rate is, what lost wages you are entitled to, and what your future medical treatment is expected to be. Given all of this, there really is no average settlement.
Work injuries are too “fact-specific” for there to be an average. In order to negotiate a fair settlement for your injury, you will want to discuss your case with an experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney.
Common Back and Spine Injuries
There a many different back and spine injuries that can result from a workplace accident. For instance, your injury may be a ruptured disc, spinal stenosis, or even an aggravation of pre-existing arthritis.
A large part of what your back or spine injury settlement is worth depends on what your exact injuries are. The reason for this is that if you have a covered back or spine injury, the insurance carrier will be responsible for your medical treatment.
What treatment you will need depends on your specific injury, and, in turn, the monetary value of that treatment will depend on what your back or spine injury is. Below, we will go over some common workers’ compensation back and spine injuries:
Sciatica is one of the most common back injuries that can result in pain, numbness, and tingling throughout the body. If you’ve injured your back but have pain in your arms or legs, then you may have sciatica. Sciatica means that as a result of your back or spine injury, you have also injured a nerve in your body that connects to an arm or leg, resulting in pain and discomfort in that other body part.
Treatment for sciatica can include regular office visits with your doctor, costing $130 to $200 per visit; in addition, your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy, which costs an additional $75 to $200 per visit. If physical therapy does not work, the doctor may try steroid injections to relieve your pain, and this can cost between $1,000 to $4,000 per year.
In some cases, your doctor will recommend surgery to treat your sciatica. Depending on the surgical procedure, surgery will generally cost between $15,000 to $35,000. Alternatively, your doctor may refer you to a pain management doctor to help manage your sciatic pain with medication, which usually costs between $5,000 to $10,000 per year.
Your spinal cord is surrounded by the spinal canal for protection. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, and can result in nerve pain due to pressure on your spinal cord. Spinal stenosis happens naturally, but also can be aggravated as a result of a work injury. The symptoms of spinal stenosis are similar to those of sciatica, and often results in pain, numbness, and tingling in your arms or legs.
The treatment for spinal stenosis is very similar to the treatment for sciatica. This treatment includes regular visits with your doctor and physical therapy to start off.
If physical therapy does not resolve your problems, then your doctor may try injections, just like with sciatica. Your doctor could perform a surgical procedure called a laminectomy to relieve your symptoms. This surgery typically costs between $15,000 to $25,000. If surgery is not an option, or it doesn’t fix your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe you pain medicine, which generally costs between $1,000 to $5,000 per year.
Muscle Sprain or Strain
Muscle sprains and strains are also very common back injuries. Usually, a muscle sprain or strain will resolve relatively fast, but there are times where a sprain or strain may linger. Common treatment for a sprain or strain would include visits with your doctor, costing between $130 to $200 per visit, and physical therapy, costing between $75 to $200 per visit.
Oftentimes, your doctor will recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to treat this injury. These medications usually cost between $50 to $200 per year. If your pain lasts for a very long time, then it is possible you have an injury other than a muscle sprain or strain.
Our spines are made up of small, individual bones called vertebrae. A spine fracture is when one or several vertebrae fracture, resulting in pain and discomfort. What symptoms you will have depends on where your fracture occurs. In addition to pain and discomfort, sometimes a spine fracture can lead to an injury to a spinal nerve, resulting in symptoms found in sciatica.
Oftentimes, spine fractures can be treated without surgery. Common treatment would include seeing an orthopedist, costing between $130 to $200 per visit, pain medicine, costing between $1,000 to $5,000 per year, and physical therapy, costing $130 to $200 per visit. In some cases, you may need surgery to repair the fracture of nerve damage resulting from the fracture, which usually costs between $15,000 to $25,000.
These are only a few of the possible back or spine injuries that can result from a work accident. Consult with our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss your specific injuries and the settlement value of your case.
When you have a covered back or spine injury in Virginia, you may be entitled to lost wages in addition to medical treatment. As part of a settlement for your back or spine injury, you will want to consider what lost wages you may be entitled.
The lost wages you are entitled to will depend on what your average weekly wage was before your accident, whether you are working at the time of your settlement, whether your doctor is keeping you out of work because of your work injuries, and how long you are expected to either be out of work or unable to perform your pre-injury job. If the doctor says you will never be able to go back to your job, you will want to consider that as well.
Consult with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss what your wage loss might be. Every case is different, and our attorneys will be able to guide you as to the fair settlement value for your wage loss as part of a settlement for your back and spine injury.
Permanent Partial Disability
Depending on your injury, you could be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. These are benefits that are awarded when you have a loss of use of a body part. Virginia does not award permanent partial disability for a loss of use of the back, neck, or spine. However, if your back or spine injury results in a loss of use of an extremity, such as an arm, hand, leg, or foot, you could be entitled to permanent partial disability.
The compensation you could be awarded is dependent on what body part you have a loss of use of, your pre-injury average weekly wage, and the impairment rating the doctor assigns you. Consult with our attorneys to find out if you can be entitled to permanent partial disability.
Contact Injured Workers Law Firm Today
There are many factors to consider when settling your workers compensation back or spine injury. If you have a back or spine injury, contact Injured Workers Law Firm right away to protect your rights. Our attorneys know that each case is different, and will work with you to get the benefits you are entitled to and get a fair and adequate settlement.