There isn’t an average amount for a lower back injury workers’ compensation settlement, especially because “lower back injury” can mean so many things. A lot of work-related injury victims search for answers about the average settlement when they should be searching for information on what they deserve. There’s a difference.
Many factors influence what you receive, from what type of back injury you have to the specific kind of work you do. As a result, your workers’ comp claim or other path to compensation should reflect the specifics of your back injury. If you’re unsure what you deserve, a Corpus Christi work injury lawyer from our firm can evaluate your injury claim.
Why Is There No Average Cost to Treat a Lower Back Injury?
Just take a look at some of the reported averages. The National Safety Council (NSC) says that the average cost for any workers’ compensation claims is $41,757, but for specific injuries, it varies. The cost of fractures is estimated at over $62,000 when all is said and done, whereas a sprain or strain is about $34,000. Forbes Advisor reports even more drastically different numbers that range from $20,000 to $80,000.
In other words, looking at averages is rarely helpful for gaining insight into your unique case. What is helpful is looking at your possible workers’ compensation claim settlement in the context of your work-related back injury, not all others. Knowing information about other cases like this is useful, but what you receive is based on you.
The following are some of the common variables that can affect what you receive. They can also give you an idea of what factors to consider when going through the claims process. The more you know about what could affect your comp settlement, the better you can advocate for yourself to get fair compensation.
What Type of Lower Back Injury Did You Suffer?
“Lower back injury” is a category rather than a specific injury. It includes sprains, strains, fractures, herniated discs, and spinal cord injuries, all of which have drastically different consequences, medical treatments, and recovery times.
The type of injury you have affects the type of care you receive, the amount of work you miss, and the kind of compensation you need—all factors an insurance claims lawyer makes sure are considered in your case.
How Severe Was the Injury?
A minor sprain might keep you off your feet for a couple of days, while a bad one could keep you out of commission for several weeks. Even at the other end of the spectrum, with spinal cord injuries, you could suffer partial paralysis or full paralysis and temporary or permanent injury. Injury severity is therefore a big factor in dictating what you should receive for workers’ comp benefits.
How does the Injury Affect Your Job?
Some jobs can’t accommodate some back injuries. For instance, if you worked in a construction job and suffered a herniated disc, you may not be able to return to work in the same capacity.
Any compensation must acknowledge if you need to transition to a new position in your company, find another job entirely, or can no longer work at all due to a permanent disability.
We have offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Victoria; and will travel to any corner of Texas if we are capable of preventing an injustice.
Types of Compensation Your Settlement Can Cover for a Back Injury
If your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, you have certain rights to benefits to help you recover. Damages for a back injury from a workplace accident should cover several categories including, but not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Rehabilitation expenses
Your claim should cover any of the medical costs related to your workplace back injury, from a trip to the ER to follow-up doctor visits. In fact, to receive workers compensation benefits, you must keep up with your appointments, or else you’re considered recovered and will have your benefits cut off.
What you receive for your lost wages will depend on if you were totally or partially disabled and if you were permanently or temporarily disabled. That means you could suffer any combination—temporary total disability, temporary partial, permanent total, or permanent partial. Depending on these and other factors, you will be paid a certain percentage of your regular wage.
Compensation for your rehabilitation expenses covers ongoing care like physical and occupational therapy. In other words, your workplace injury claim should pay for what you need to get back to work.
Compensation for a Back Injury at Work If Your Employer Was a Non-Subscriber
According to Texas non-subscriber laws, the state does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation. That could mean you were hurt on the job but won’t automatically receive the benefits mentioned above.
You may also find that, although a company has workers’ compensation, you don’t qualify for it. For instance, if you were a freelancer contracted by the company, you likely don’t get workers’ compensation benefits.
In either case, one of the most common options is a personal injury lawsuit. Employees covered by workers’ comp can’t sue their employer for negligence, but if you were a contractor or your employer was a non-subscriber, you can file a lawsuit. However, you can only do so if:
- Someone owed you a duty of care – The company should have followed safety regulations or taken reasonable precautions to avoid harm.
- That duty of care was violated – Examples include not providing safety equipment, ignoring rules or regulations, failing to maintain equipment, or not addressing risks in time.
- You suffered injury – You injured your lower back as a result of the failures of the company or its employees.
- The injury resulted in damages – A minor bruise to your lower back may be annoying but will not meet the definition of damages. Your injury must be significant enough to warrant compensation.
If all these apply, you can file a lawsuit to receive damages. Unlike workers’ comp claims, you can pursue financial compensation for pain and suffering losses in addition to medical bills, all lost income, and physical therapy expenses.
Representing the injured in all areas of Texas that extends back over 40 years
How to Help Ensure You Receive Fair Lower Back Injury Compensation
Knowing the factors that influence your compensation helps you distinguish between a fair settlement and an unfair one, so it’s a good starting point. However, you can get even more personalized information from a personal injury lawyer or workers’ compensation attorney from Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC.
With over 50 years of experience, our team of comp lawyers is familiar with lower back injuries, the workers’ compensation process, subscribers vs. non-subscribers, and common pitfalls injured workers fall prey to. You can contact us today for free to get information about the specifics of your case. Don’t just ask about the average workers’ compensation settlement for a lower back injury. Ask us about how to get what you need for your back injury!
At Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC we can talk to you about your options and rights.