Back injuries suffered while at work can be devastating. They may cause you to be out of work for a considerable amount of time, require surgery, and prevent you from returning to your prior profession at all. Understandably, many prospective clients want to know what they can get for a worker-related back injury. As every claim is different, you need to speak with an experienced North Carolina workplace injury lawyer at Mehta & McConnell to find out what your case is potentially worth. What Is the Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement for a Back Injury Claim? There is no average amount for workers’ compensation settlements involving back injuries. Each person’s injuries are different, as is their job. Various factors influence the benefit amount you can receive, such as the extent of injuries and the amount of treatment required. While we can’t give you a specific range that workers’ compensation back injury cases will settle for, we can give you some general information on presenting your back injury claim. Proving a Work-Related Back Injury The first step in a North Carolina workers’ compensation back injury claim is to prove that your injuries occurred at work. Back injuries at work include those caused by an “accident” as well as those caused only by a specific traumatic event at work. Unless your injury is a repetitive stress injury, you need to show the particular moment at work you suffered the injury. For example, maybe you were lifting boxes on a shelf at a specific time and date when you felt a pop in your back followed by the immediate onset of pain. This would qualify as an accident caused by a specific traumatic incident under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Being specific is more likely to be well-received and carry more weight than if you say you think you injured your back sometime last week while possibly working in the stock room. There is a greater likelihood that the workers’ compensation adjuster will deny your claim with only vague details. The most critical element is to establish your injury happened while in the course and scope of your employment. What Types of Compensation Are You Eligible for in a Workers’ Compensation Claim? The amount of your settlement is based on numerous factors, including the type and severity of your injury. A claim involving a severe disc herniation with spinal nerve compression is worth more than a claim involving a back strain. Serious injuries may involve temporary or permanent disability. If you are unable to work temporarily, you might receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which will pay up to 66% of your regular salary while you are unable to work. If you suffered permanent injuries, you might receive a permanent partial disability (PPD) rating from your doctor. For example, if you receive a rating of 25%, it means you only recovered 75% of your pre-injury condition. You are entitled to seek a second opinion, which most people do. You may find that the second doctor gives you a higher rating. If this happens, the workers’ compensation adjuster may take the average of the two ratings. Your PPD rating is important. Your rating means you’re entitled to benefits for a certain number of weeks. Your salary amount and corresponding TTD rate are also significant. Someone who earns a higher salary for their PPD rating than someone else may receive greater benefits, even if their injuries and ratings were the same. That is one reason why it’s impossible to provide an average settlement amount for back injury claims. Should You Accept a PPD Rating? If you are thinking about accepting a PPD rating, you should speak with an attorney first. If you are still unable to work, continuing with TTD benefits may provide more assistance. For example, you can ask for additional benefits allowable under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, such as retraining or reeducation. What Is a Clincher Agreement? Some people try to settle their workers’ compensation claims. This is sometimes known as a clincher agreement. This type of agreement means the insurance company essentially buys your claim. If you can reach an agreement with the workers’ compensation carrier, you can settle for what you both agree it is worth. There is no set schedule or rating as there is with TTD or PPD. Insurance companies like these agreements because they don’t have to worry about future medical treatment should you need to treat again one or two years later. Clincher agreements are typically worth significantly more than a PPD because you are giving up your rights, including future medical care payments. But you need to be careful in calculating a fair settlement because you won’t be able to go back and change it if you find you need additional treatment in the future. You need a skilled lawyer to negotiate a settlement on your behalf and draw up the agreement language. Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer If you suffered a back injury at work, you could have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. However, work-related back injury claims are complicated. It’s best to speak with a skilled North Carolina workplace injury lawyer who can protect your rights. The legal team at Mehta & McConnell has years of experience with protecting injured workers in North Carolina. We understand how these cases work and the typical problems you can encounter when dealing with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Don’t attempt to handle your claim alone; let us help. Contact Mehta & McConnell today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.Keep Reading
Mehta & McConnell Injury Lawyers Extraordinary Legal Help for Workers In Need
We understand that hiring an attorney is the last thing you want to think about. That’s why you should hire a firm that has the knowledge, dedication, and experience to deliver you the results that you deserve.
When you hire Mehta & McConnell, you will be working directly with North Carolina State Bar board-certified workers’ compensation attorneys. Our team of attorneys has over 30 years of combined legal experience handling complex and simple cases.
We were both defense attorneys so we know how insurance companies think and evaluate claims. Knowing how our opponent plays the game gives us a level playing field and helps us achieve the results our clients need and deserve.
If you are dealing with a workplace injury, lost wages, or any other work related legal and financial problem, schedule a free, non-commitment consultation with an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation.
- Always here for his client“Mr. Mehta was very professional He helped my mom from step one all the way to the finish line He had interpreters to help translate when I wasn’t able to help. He was kind and gets the job done He is here for his clients one hundred percent until the end”- Luz via Avvo
- Really went to bat for me..."Viral did a great job handling my case and really went to bat for me. If I ever need an attorney again I won't hesitate to contact him.”- Sebastian McShane via Google
- He Will fight for you...“He Will fight for you like a mama bear defending her cubs!”- Stefan James via Google
$100,000 settlementRight hip injury to restaurant employee
$95,000 settlementRight shoulder injury to warehouse forklift driver
$90,000 settlementLeft knee injury to construction worker
How Can We Help You?
If you were injured at work, we can help you with all aspects of your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim. We will fight so you receive all of the medical treatment and lost wages you are entitled to under the law
If you are out of work due to your work injury, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your lost wages. Our attorneys can help you prove your claim for disability compensation.
Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Workers
Undocumented workers have the same rights to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits as any other injured worker. Undocumented workers have full rights to receive benefits for lost wages and medical treatment.
Warehouse and Factory Accidents
Workers in warehouses and factories have to operate heavy machinery and work in crowded environments, increasing their risk of injury. We have represented workers you have been involved in a wide variety of warehouse and factory accidents. Let us help you in your claim!
Meet The Attorneys
Over 30 years of combined experience. Focusing on Workers’ Compensation litigation in North Carolina.
- How should I respond when the insurance company wants to take my recorded statement? The insurance company is probably thinking about denying your case if they have asked to take your recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will try to get you to make statements that weaken your claim. You should always contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before giving a recorded statement.
- How much should I receive in weekly lost wages? If you are out of work due to your work injury, you should receive tax-free benefits in the amount of ⅔ of your pre-injury average weekly wage. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act contains a weekly maximum and minimum of disability benefits. If you are back at work but making less than you did prior to your injury, then you are entitled to receive ⅔ of the difference in wages.
- What should I do if my case was denied? You should immediately contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Our North Carolina board-certified workers’ compensation attorneys can help you fight the denial of your case. We will try to resolve the dispute with the insurance company, but we are also prepared to take your case to a hearing if necessary.
- When should I consider hiring an attorney? Hiring an attorney early in your claim will likely maximize your recovery. Even if the insurance company is paying for your treatment and lost wages, disputes may arise later in your case. At that point, it may be too late for an attorney to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
- How are workers’ compensation attorneys paid? Workers’ compensation attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you do. North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney fees are generally 25% of the amount your attorney recovers for an injured worker.
Every year in the United States, several million people sustain injuries on the job. Many of these people never fully recover from their injuries. Fortunately, our North Carolina workers’ compensation system can help workers who get injured on the job. Potential benefits include covered medical expenses, temporary and permanent disability payments, and death benefits for next of kin. While any injury can occur, some happen more often than others. Here is a look at the 10 most common workplace injuries in North Carolina. Overexertion Injuries Employees who have a job that requires regular pulling, lifting, or pushing, are at risk for overexertion injuries. This type of injury occurs when a joint moves beyond its normal range. Tears and strains are some of the most common types of overexertion injuries. Construction workers, commercial truck drivers, movers, and factory workers are a few professions that often have workers’ compensation claims for overexertion injuries. Falling to a Lower Level Falls of any kind is dangerous, especially when they involve falling from a ladder or down the stairs. Falls involving elevations are another common workplace accident in North Carolina. Maintenance workers, construction workers, window washers, and other workers who typically work from heights are the most susceptible to these types of injuries. Trip and Falls or Slip and Falls Tripping over something or slipping on a slick floor can occur to any worker. However, the most common professions include health care workers, grocery store employees, and restaurant workers. Spills or freshly mopped floors can be especially hazardous for workers. Insurance companies tend to undervalue or even deny slip and fall claims in personal injury cases. The same can happen with workers’ compensation claims. This situation is when you need a North Carolina workplace injury lawyer on your side. Being Hit by an Object Falling objects can hit workers in numerous types of professions. Perhaps you are struck by a box falling off a warehouse shelf, or cargo falls while being loaded, etc. Workers being struck by objects account for many workplace accidents. They also account for some fatal accidents. If the object is heavy and the worker is standing below, it can cause a severe head injury. Bodily Reaction The term bodily reaction refers to when an employee suddenly moves to avoid something happening. In the process, they sustain an injury such as spraining a muscle or twisting something. People who have physically demanding jobs are more prone to bodily reaction injuries, such as nurses or manual laborers. Vehicle Accidents Some workers, such as commercial truck drivers, movers, delivery drivers, sales representatives, and police officers, drive as part of their regular daily job duties. Other employees have to drive periodically for their job. Perhaps their boss asks them to pick something up or deliver something to a client. If you are in the course and scope of your employment at the time of an accident, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries. Falling Into an Object Workers can also fall into objects rather than objects falling on them. An example would be if an employee was pushed into an object when falling or landing on machinery equipment, shelving units, etc. These accidents can also occur when an employee is distracted and walks into an object, such as a door, glass window, chair, or even another person. Falling into an object injuries can range from mild sprains and contusions to more severe injuries. They also often involve the head, neck, knee, or foot. Repetitive Stress Injuries Employees who work on assembly lines, sit at a computer all day, or perform any other repetitive movements as part of their job are at risk for repetitive stress injuries. Any work that requires you to perform routine motions over and over again can result in repetitive stress injuries over time. These injuries involve damage to your nerves, tendons, muscles, and even spinal discs. Complaints include hand, arm, neck, and shoulder pain. Two examples of potential work-related repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Machinery Accidents Workers who operate machinery and equipment in manufacturing plants and factories are most at risk for machine accident claims. Equipment can entrap an employee’s hand or foot and crush it or mutilate it. In some cases, the employee may lose a limb from the accident. Machinery accidents tend to be severe to catastrophic and involve permanent disability claims. All equipment should undergo regular safety checks, and all employees should undergo training for safety protocols. Workplace Violence You don’t necessarily equate workplace violence with workers’ compensation claims, but workplace violence can happen anywhere at any time. Sadly, workplace violence counts as one of the most common work-related injuries. Workplace violence can be something such as verbal abuse, or it can be a physical attack. Some workplace violence incidents result in one or more deaths. Some businesses may be at higher risk for violence. Examples are banks that exchange money with customers, bars where alcohol is served, or prison or mental hospital workers. Other professions such as delivery drivers and public service workers have seen workplace violence incidents as well. Contact a North Carolina Workplace Injury Lawyer If you suffered an injury during the course and scope of your employment, you need to speak with an experienced North Carolina workplace injury lawyer as soon as possible. In some instances, you may have a third-party claim against someone other than your employer. This claim is in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits. Workplace injury claims can be complex. This is especially true if your employer denies workers’ compensation benefits or tries to force you back to work before you are physically able. At Mehta & McConnell, we have years of experience assisting injured workers just like you get the benefits and compensation they deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to receive.Keep Reading
There are a lot of wonderful tradeoffs for your hard work: money, skills, relationships, etc. But sometimes a work accident can damage your health. Fortunately, many employees who suffer a work injury are eligible to receive workers’ (or workman’s) compensation benefits to compensate them for lost earnings and for required medical treatment. Sometimes it is best to receive your benefits through a workers’ compensation claim, while in others it may be in your best interest to settle your workers’ compensation claim. If you are an injured worker interested in settlement, you should understand what determines worker’s compensation settlement amounts in North Carolina, and how the attorneys of Mehta & McConnell may be able to assist you. Workers’ Compensation Benefit Statistics According to the National Security Council, the average cost of a workers’ compensation claim for 2017 and 2018 combined was $41,003. This average does not mean you will receive that amount in a settlement, but rather gives you an idea of a claim’s potential value. There is no real average workers’ compensation settlement amount because your settlement depends on the nature and severity of your injury, the body part(s) injured, and the amount of money you earned prior to your injury. Finally, the extent of your recovery will also determine, in part, the overall value of your claim. What Kinds of Benefits Can I Receive in a Workers’ Compensation Claim? Many injured workers in North Carolina choose to resolve their workers’ compensation claims via a Compromise Settlement Agreement. Workers’ compensation settlement amounts in North Carolina normally represent a portion of the total benefits you would have received in a claim if you had remained in the workers’ compensation system. Although in some cases you may settle a portion of your claim while leaving other benefits open, the purpose of a Compromise Settlement Agreement is usually to resolve the entire claim. The two main areas of compensation afforded to injured workers in North Carolina are medical compensation, and wage loss compensation. Another term for wage loss compensation, or compensation for the time you miss from work, is called indemnity compensation. Medical Benefits In an accepted workers’ compensation claim, your employer has the right to direct your medical care to the doctors they choose. In return, they are required to pay for all reasonably necessary medical care, so long as it is intended to offer relief, shorten the period of disability, or cure the disease or condition caused by the accident. While this system can give workers access to care they might not otherwise have, it is not always the best. You might decide to settle your claim so you can change doctors as you please and direct your own medical care. When is a good time to settle your workers’ compensation medical claim? Only when you are relatively certain as to the full extent of your injury, and have a good idea of what kind of future medical care you will require, and for how long you will need it. Pay close attention to your doctor’s treatment recommendations and their prognosis for your condition. Although there is no magical workers’ compensation injury settlement calculator that applies to everyone, you can use your doctor’s recommendations and the North Carolina Industrial Commission Medical Fee Schedule to figure out how much your employer may spend on your medical treatment. Indemnity Benefits In many cases, a work injury not only creates a need for medical care, but also causes financial loss in the form of time out of work and lost wages. Workers’ compensation covers your financial losses by replacing the wages you could not earn during your recovery, and compensating you for any permanent impairment caused by your accident. Your average weekly wage (AWW) is a large part of determining the amount of indemnity benefits you are entitled to. Calculating your correct average weekly wage is not always straightforward, and can be difficult. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help make sure your AWW is calculated fairly so that you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Temporary Total Disability Compensation If your work injury takes you completely out of work for more than seven days, you may be eligible to receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits to replace part of your lost wages. The compensation rate for your TTD benefits is calculated to be two-thirds of your average weekly wage. These benefits have a statutory minimum and a statutory maximum. Temporary Partial Disability Compensation Your temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits cover your wage loss when you can work but your injury requires that you work less than usual. Your TPD rate is two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury AWW and the amount you are able to earn after your injury. Permanent Partial Disability Compensation Unfortunately, not every injured worker makes a complete medical recovery after a work-related accident. Furthermore, even if you do make a good recovery and are able to return to work once you have reached maximum medical improvement, you may still be entitled to receive an award for permanent partial impairment (PPD). The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides compensation for permanent impairment based on the location of and severity of your injury and your TTD rate. Depending on your injury, you could receive these benefits for up to 300 weeks. Vocational Rehabilitation If you are unable, due to injury, to return to your prior occupation, or if your work injury causes you to earn less than 75% of your pre-injury average weekly wage after returning to work, you may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation services. These services can cover the cost of job training, re-education, vocational counseling, or job placement services to assist you in finding gainful suitable to any permanent work restrictions you may have. Permanent Total Disability Compensation We hope this does not happen to you, but sometimes a work injury is so severely disabling that you are entitled to receive payments at your TTD rate and medical care for the rest...Keep Reading