When an employee suffers a workplace injury on duty, the state of Ohio entitles them to be compensated by their employer or insurance company. Back injuries are common in many types of industries, and a workers' comp claim is one way for victims to seek a fair settlement.
On paper, it seems like a straightforward process where the employees file a claim and receive their workers' compensation benefits. However, the reality can be quite different.
There are cases where the employer or insurance company will try to avoid paying the injured workers for their back injuries. This is common in severe injuries that may require a huge settlement offer.
In such circumstances, the injured worker can hire a workmans compensation lawyer to assist. With proper legal guidance, injured workers can file for a back injury settlement and win massive damages.
Larrimer & Larrimer has been helping employees in Columbus navigate the complex Ohio workers' compensation system for years. Victims can call the law firm and request a free consultation.
What Is a Workers' Comp Settlement?
A workplace back injury can cause a lot of disruptions in the victim's life, particularly if they are no longer able to go to work. It can be very difficult for workers and their families to deal with the lack of a salary and the mounting medical expenses.
As such, Ohio workers' compensation benefits are there to help injured workers suffering from a back injury to cover their expenses and receive compensation for their injuries. Contact for questions like When can I collect a penalty from the workers comp insurer? In the aftermath of work-related back injuries, victims can file a back injury workers' comp claim to help pay for the following:
Temporary/total disability benefits
Death benefits for the remaining family members
How Does the Workers' Compensation Settlement Process Work?
Back injury claims in Ohio are often settled through negotiations between an experienced workers comp attorney representing the victim and the employer or insurance company's legal team. Usually, these negotiations will start as soon as the victim's doctor declares that a state of maximum medical improvement has been reached.
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is when the injured worker suffering from a back injury has either fully recovered or has reached a point where further treatment will not cause an improvement in their condition. In cases of severe back injuries that result in paralysis or permanent total disability, MMI may be declared by the doctor even though the victim is still unable to walk or fully function.
At this point, the employer or insurance company will usually present an initial settlement offer for the back injury. After suffering a lot from the injury, workers may be tempted to accept the settlement offer and move on, but an experienced workers comp lawyer will usually advise against that. This is because a quick settlement for a back injury may result in the victim not receiving the full compensation they are owed.
Back injury victims should allow their attorney to present their demands to the insurance company and begin the negotiation process. In some cases, workers compensation settlements may have to be brought before an Ohio court. If that happens, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide how much compensation to award the victim for medical bills, wage loss benefits, physical therapy, and other types of damages.
Common Causes of Back Injuries at Work
Many people assume that back injuries only occur due to workplace accidents such as slipping and falling. However, even prolonged sitting or standing can result in back injuries that will require significant treatment. This is why victims need to approach an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss their legal rights after suffering a work-related back injury.
The following are some of the causes of back injuries in the workplace:
Repetitive motion injuries
Injuries from slipping and falling
Inadequate rest breaks
Overexertion back injuries
Trying to lift heavy objects
Prolonged whole-body vibrations
Car accident injuries
Reaching and stretching
Types of Back Injuries in the Workplace
There are a wide range of back injuries that can result in a workers compensation claim, such as:
Compressed, bulging, or herniated discs
Lumbar strains and sprains
Spinal cord injuries
Lumbar degenerative disc disease
Depending on the severity of the back injury, the worker may be able to get back to work in a short time or may require a prolonged or permanent absence from work. In either case, such injuries are legal grounds for a workers' compensation claim, and the victim will need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Four Categories of Workers’ Comp for a Back Injury-related Disability
One of the most difficult cases that workers' compensation attorneys have to deal with involves back injuries that result in the victim being disabled. Such cases require a lot of experience, compassion, and the will to fight tooth and nail for a fair workers' compensation settlement.
Back injury claims for disability benefits usually fall into the following categories:
Temporary partial disability
Permanent partial disability
Temporary total disability
Permanent total disability
Benefits are usually awarded according to the type of medical treatment required for the work-related injury, and the impact it will have on the victim's quality of life. Workers' comp claims for permanent total disability usually result in the highest settlement offers.
How to Recover Workers Comp Benefits After a Back Injury
When trying to recover compensation for work-related back injuries, victims need to make sure they take the right steps to give them the best chance of walking away with a fair settlement offer. This is why the injured employee needs to take the following steps:
Report the injury to the employer and follow company regulations
Seeking medical treatment
Gather evidence and witness statements
Seek legal advice from a worker's compensation attorney
File a workers' compensation claim
Cooperate with insurers
Attend independent medical examinations if required
Keep up with medical treatment plans provided by the doctors
Receive initial back injury settlement offer
Negotiate a better settlement for a back injury
Proving a Work-related Back Injury Claim
Before agreeing to a workers comp pay-out, insurers will often look for any possible ways to deny the claim. This is why victims often need a good lawyer to help them prove the severity of their injuries, and that the injuries are work-related.
Here, it is important to remember that a work-related back injury is not limited to the workplace only. If the victim was out doing anything that benefits their employers, this can be regarded as a work-related injury.
The following are some of the ways to prove that a back injury settlement should be awarded to the victim:
Statements from doctors
Treatment plans provided by the attending physicians
List of prescribed medications
Statements from co-workers
Reasons for a Workers' Compensation Claim Being Denied
Some workers' compensation claims end up being unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. If a victim is suffering from back pain or has a spinal fracture, their workers' compensation claim may be denied because of the following:
The pain is due to age-related wear
They miss the filing deadline
A pre-existing condition exists
Injury was not work-related
Minor injuries that do not require medication or time off work
Average Workers’ Comp Settlement for a Back Injury
One of the things injured employees want to know is the average workers' comp settlement for their back injury claim. However, while this may act as a guideline, it is important to note that each case is different, so the settlement agreement may end up being much lower or higher than the average workers' comp settlement in Ohio.
The following data from various sources can help victims as they prepare for workers' compensation settlement negotiations:
$20,000 - $25,000 (Martindale-Nolo research)
$33,000 - $37,000 for upper back injuries (The National Council of Compensation Insurance)
$40,000 - $80,000 (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Average settlement compensation of $23,600 (lawyers.com)
Factors Affecting Workers' Comp Settlements for Back Injuries
When seeking maximum compensation for common workplace injuries, victims need to remember the following factors that will affect their settlement agreement:
Type and severity of the back injuries
Partial or permanent total disability
Duration of the injuries
Costs of medical bills and lost wages
Strength of evidence supporting the back injury claims
Experience of the victim's attorneys
Types of Back Injury Settlements
Getting workers' compensation benefits for back pain is the right of every injured worker in Ohio. When the settlement is approved, it can come in a wide variety of forms, such as:
Compromise settlement agreement
Lump-sum settlement agreement
Combination, partial, or structured settlement
Each of these types of back injury settlements will affect how much compensation the employees will receive, and whether or not it comes as a lump sum or as partial payments. A good lawyer will be able to assist victims when deciding on the option that is best for their needs. They can also advise on unfortunate situations like how much compensation for death at work?
An Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help
Suffering from back pain can severely affect the victim's ability to work or enjoy their life. As such, if the back injury was caused by a workplace incident or condition, the employer or insurer has to pay.
With the help of an experienced, compassionate, and determined attorney, Ohio workers can walk away with more than the average back injury settlement. Larrimer & Larrimer is ready to fight for the rights of injured employees in Columbus, OH.