Suffering from a back injury at work can be very serious and keep you from earning a living.
Work-related back injuries are very common, especially in industries where employees have to perform continuous lifting of heavy objects.
If your back injury is caused by work and it keeps you from working, you’re entitled to get your medical bills paid as well as weekly wage loss benefits.
The wage benefits will stop when you get better and return to work. But in some cases, the employee doesn’t get better and is out of work for months or even years.
If this is the case, you need to discuss your options with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. They can help you understand what your workers’ comp settlement of a back injury may be worth.
The North Carolina workers’ comp lawyers at Mehta & McConnell have been representing injured workers throughout North Carolina for over 30 years.
We can discuss with you your options and help you make decisions about whether to seek a workers’ comp settlement of your back injury.
We are here to help protect your rights to receive your full and fair workers’ comp benefits.
Common Work-Related Back Injuries
North Carolina workers hurt their backs all the time. Usually, the more physical the labor, the more risk of a back injury.
Work-related back injuries can be caused by lifting heavy objects, constant twisting, sudden falls, car or truck accidents, and other physical injuries.
Here are the common types of back injuries we see at our North Carolina workers’ comp law firm:
- Pulled muscles;
- Herniated discs;
- Bulging discs;
- Fractured vertebrae;
- Damaged, bruised, or severed spinal cord;
- Paraplegia; and
Most of these specific injuries can easily prevent someone from performing their normal work activities. If so, then that worker is entitled to wage and medical benefits.
Average Workers’ Comp Settlement for a Back Injury
Most workers’ comp claims are fairly simple. The employee gets hurt, is out of work for a while, gets treatment, and returns to work. These simple claims often take care of themselves without the need for lawyers.
Workers’ comp claims involving serious back injuries are more complicated. These are the claims where you want to discuss a possible workers’ comp settlement of your back injury claim.
Unfortunately, there is no set formula that you can use to come up with an average settlement of a back injury claim. Every case is different, and a settlement will depend upon many factors.
If your injury keeps you from work for a period of time, you receive temporary total disability (TTD) wage benefits. TTD benefits pay up to 66% of your regular pre-tax salary while you are unable to work.
If it turns out that your back injury will be permanent in nature, then your claim may turn into a permanent partial disability (PPD) case.
Under PPD claims, your doctor will place a permanent percentage of loss on the body part involved. For example, your doctor may say that your back injury caused a 15% permanent loss of use of your spine.
Under North Carolina workers’ comp law, a schedule lists the number of weeks of TTD you get for certain percentages of permanent disability.
Section 97-31 lists the amount of benefits you would receive based upon the loss of use of various body parts. For the total loss of the back, the law allows for 300 weeks of TTD.
Therefore, if your doctor rates your back injury as 15% permanent disability, then you’re paid 15% of 300 weeks (45 weeks) of your TTD weekly wage rate.
Before you accept a PPD rating, it is important that you discuss your case in detail with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Should You Accept a Clincher Agreement?
A clincher agreement is where the workers’ comp insurance company pays out your benefits in a lump sum amount, rather than over time.
Once you receive the lump sum amount, your claim is closed. This type of settlement closes down your wage claim as well as your medical benefits.
Clincher agreements are usually significantly more than a PPD percentage rating payment under the schedule because you are also giving up your rights for any potential future medical care.
These agreements are complicated, and you don’t want to make important decisions without first discussing your options with a lawyer.
Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You don’t have to go through your workers’ comp injury claim alone. The North Carolina workers’ comp lawyers at Mehta & McConnell have been representing seriously injured workers for over 30 years.
We can explain to you the average workers’ comp settlement for a back injury. We will answer all your questions and help you through the entire process.
Contact Mehta & McConnell today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.