Back Injury Settlements from Workers’ Compensation
If you suffered a back injury at work, your workers’ compensation settlement could cover two-thirds of your lost income and the entirety of your medical care. How long you receive benefits (and how much you get) largely depends on your situation, including the severity of your condition and working ability. Here, you can learn more about California’s workers’ compensation system and your rights as an injured worker. Everyone in the state is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and you should have no problem securing what you need. However, if you experience issues and want a lawyer’s help, you can reach out to the team at KJT Law Group.
Medical Care Benefits for a Back Injury
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) says that you can receive medical care at no cost to you if you get hurt at work. As long as you follow the rules of the workers’ compensation program, the treatment of your back injury will not even get billed to you. Usually, this is not a reimbursement program. The healthcare provider will bill your treatments to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
Be sure to tell all medical providers that you are seeing them for treatment of a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation medical expenses get coded and billed differently from routine healthcare services.
Temporary Disability Benefits for a Job-Related Back Injury
The DIR explains that you might be eligible for two different types of temporary disability benefits. If you cannot work at all while recuperating from a qualifying back injury received at work, you will get paid two-thirds of your pre-tax regular wages. This amount is not the same as your take-home paycheck. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are equal to two-thirds of your gross income, not your net income.Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits can help to replace the difference between your regular average gross income and your actual gross income, if you make less money while recuperating due to light duty or restricted hours. TPD benefits are two-thirds of the difference between your previous gross pay and your decreased gross pay.
Permanent Disability Benefits After Hurting Your Back at Work
When you complete your medical treatment and reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) (also called permanent and stationary (P&S) according to the DIR), you might negotiate a settlement of your back injury workers’ compensation claim with the insurance company. At this point, you will get examined by an approved physician, who will assign a disability rating based on your residual problems from your injury. The rating will get stated as a percentage. The economic value of your permanent disability (PD) is intended to represent your reduced earning capacity caused by the impairment from your condition, even though your actual benefits might not cover all of the income you might lose. Not every workers’ compensation claimant receives permanent disability benefits, but you might receive PD benefits in a settlement if you can still work for a living.
Factors That Can Affect a Workers’ Compensation Settlement for a Back Injury
Every back injury workers’ compensation settlement is unique. There is no flat rate of recovery in these cases. The amount of your settlement could depend on:
- Whether you had any pre-existing injuries. You can collect a settlement if your job-related injury worsened an existing back condition, but not for the underlying condition itself. Your settlement will represent the difference between your previous medical status and your condition after completing medical treatment for the on-the-job back injury you suffered.
- How much pain the back injury caused you. Depending on the location and severity of the back injury, along with the frequency and intensity of the pain you experience, can be a factor in your settlement. For example, some back injuries respond well to occasional doses of mild, over-the-counter pain relievers, while another injury can subject a person to extreme pain if they merely move their arm or leg.
- The level of ongoing impairment you have from the back injury. Some back injuries are debilitating, preventing a person from performing basic job tasks that are necessary for maintaining gainful employment.
Your workers’ compensation claim from a workplace back injury could involve additional factors that could affect the amount of your settlement.
How Can I Secure a Workers’ Comp Settlement for a Back Injury?
The California workers’ compensation program can provide benefits for work-related illnesses or injuries that are the result of a single event, like a fall, or repeated exposures at work, like repetitive motion or environmental factors on the job. But what goes into securing benefits?
Here’s what to know:
- You must notify your boss of the injury in writing within 30 days of the accident. If you do not give proper notice of the injury to your boss, your claim for benefits could get denied, as well as your request to settle your back injury claim.
- You cannot go to your regular doctor for treatment. You must use the healthcare provider on your employer’s approved list. In the event of an emergency, you can go to a nearby medical facility, but you will have to use a medical provider from the workers’ compensation program for ongoing treatment.
- You must complete your prescribed medical treatment. Failure to do so can cause you to lose your weekly wage replacement check. Also, you could receive less money or nothing for your permanent disability claim if you do not finish your treatment. The insurance company will likely argue that you would have healed better with all of the prescribed treatment.
- If you have residual impairments after reaching MMI, and you do not return to work for the same employer, you could receive supplemental job displacement benefits to help pay for additional job training or education.
- Every worker in California is entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. Your employer cannot avoid workers’ compensation claims by inaccurately calling their employees independent contractors. Independent c contractors in the state are generally ineligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
Our Lawyers Help Injured Workers Get Back Injury Settlements
KJT Law Group could help negotiate your back injury workers’ compensation claim settlement. During your free consultation, we can evaluate your case and explain your options. Call (818) 507-8525 to get started.