Workers’ Comp Settlement For A Back Injury
October 29, 2021 | Back Injuries
Anyone can sustain a back injury at work, even if they sit at a desk all day. Workers in the building and construction industries are especially prone to various types of back injuries. A worker can suffer a back injury by falling off of a piece of construction equipment, such as a ladder or scaffolding, or in a motor vehicle accident while driving on the job. When a worker strikes the ground or another hard surface with a strong degree of force, they can suffer a debilitating neck or back injury.
Workers who injure their backs while on the job may also need to miss significant time from work to recover from their injuries. In some instances, the injured worker might even suffer a permanent disability. Back injuries also typically require a large amount of medical treatment to correct. In some cases, workers injure their backs to such an extent that they cannot perform the same kind of work after their accident as they did before their accident.
If you or a person you love has been injured while at your job and while performing a job duty, you might be eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. In some instances, the employer’s insurance company will offer injured workers a lump sum settlement to fully and finally resolve their claim. When that happens, there are several considerations that you should take into account.
A knowledgeable St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can pursue a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. Your attorney can also explain your legal options to you in clear and easy-to-understand terms and help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer to resolve your back-injury claim. Please give a workers’ comp law firm a call today to learn more about how they can guide you through the workers’ compensation process.
Types Of Back Injuries That Workers Suffer On The Job
Many work industries especially the building and construction industries – endanger the employees who work in them. These industries typically require workers to perform their duties using large construction equipment, including diggers, cranes, dump trucks, and other vehicles.
In addition, workers in the building and construction industries often have to work atop tall scaffolding and ladders. If they fall while performing a job duty, the chances are good that they will suffer a painful and debilitating back injury.
Some of the back injuries that accident victims suffer on the job are soft tissue in nature. This means that they do not involve a fracture or a broken bone. However, soft tissue back injuries can lead to tenderness/stiffness and can present the accident victim with significant pain. On the other hand, a fractured or broken bone is typically more serious and can result in additional medical treatment.
Back injuries, in some instances, can require one or more surgeries or other procedures to correct. Following the surgery, the injured worker might need to take significant time off work to recover and rehabilitate. As a result, the worker may lose earnings.
If you suffered a fracture, soft tissue injury, or some other injury to your back in a work accident, seek the medical treatment that you need as soon as possible following your accident. If you wait too long to seek medical treatment for your injury or injuries, the condition can become worse. In addition, your employer’s insurance company might assume that your injuries were not serious and might not be willing to compensate you for your injuries.
An experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can prepare and file your workers’ compensation claim after exploring your eligibility for benefits and/or settlement compensation.
Medical Treatment After Suffering A Back Injury While On The Job
If you sustain a back injury while working at your job, notify your employer about the incident. Human resources can document your work injury, and you can obtain the medical treatment that you need. In some instances, you may first need to follow up at an urgent care facility or a hospital emergency room for prompt medical treatment after your accident.
The course of your treatment will depend upon how severe of a back injury you sustained in your work accident. Possible treatment following an on-the-job back injury can include one or more surgeries, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation.
A St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can handle the legal aspects of a workers’ comp claim on your behalf while you complete your medical treatment for your job site back injury or injuries.
How Workers Can Suffer A Back Injury While They Are On The Job
There are several ways that a worker can suffer a serious back injury while on the job. Builders and construction workers are especially prone to back injuries because they can fall from high places or fall off construction equipment, injuring themselves in the process. Many construction workers also have to work atop scaffolding and high ladders. If they fall to the ground, they can suffer one or more significant back injuries that may leave them debilitated for an extended time.
Some of the most common ways that workers suffer back injuries while they are on the job include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falling off or being thrown from equipment
- Falling off a ladder or scaffolding
- Being struck by an object while on the job
- Gradual wear and tear over time from lifting heavy objects while on the job
- Injuries caused by a defective piece of equipment or machinery while on the job
If you suffered a back injury in a work accident, a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can explore all of your benefit and settlement options and help you decide the best course of action. The right lawyer will make it their priority to pursue the greatest amount of compensation available to you on your behalf.
Eligibility For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
To obtain workers’ compensation benefits or a settlement offer, an injured worker must first file a claim arising out of his/her work accident. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the worker must be an employee. In other words, he or she must receive a W-2 at tax time, as opposed to a Form-1099. While independent contractors are not eligible to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, injured employees are.
In addition, to be eligible for a workers’ compensation settlement or benefits, the worker must have been injured while on the job. In addition, the worker must have acted in the scope of their employment when the accident happened. Under most circumstances, this means that the worker performed a job duty or duties at the time of the accident.
Workers’ compensation claims are no-fault-based. In other words, a worker might receive benefits and/or a settlement through the workers’ compensation system regardless of who or what caused the accident. In cases where a construction worker or other employee suffered a back injury in a motor vehicle, the accident victim can pursue a workers’ compensation settlement, along with a third-party settlement in the personal injury case.
A knowledgeable St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can assess your eligibility for filing a comp claim. If you are eligible, your attorney can review your benefit and settlement options in the case and pursue the compensation that you need for your work-related back injuries.
What If My Employer Or My Employer’s Insurer Wants To Settle My Claim?
In some instances where workers suffer one or more injuries while on the job, an employer’s insurer will make a full and final offer to settle the case in a lump sum (such as if the injury victim now works for a different company). This may happen even after the insurance company pays certain benefits. In many instances, accepting a full and final settlement offer in a work injury case will close the case out.
This means that the injured worker cannot go back and seek medical treatment coverage, even if a condition worsens. Therefore, before accepting a full and final offer, make sure that your condition stabilizes and that you do not have any additional treatment plans. This is because you will usually not have the right to reopen the claim at any point in the future.
In most instances, full and final settlements in back injury cases come in a lump sum. Out of the successful lump sum settlement, an attorney will take their fees along with any other open balances or expenses. The remainder will be for the accident victim. In addition, injured workers do not typically have to pay state or federal income taxes on earnings from a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.
As part of a full and final settlement offer in a workers’ compensation case, there may also be an agreement to waive any lien in the companion third-party personal injury case. This is especially common in work injury cases where a person injures his or her back in a motor vehicle collision that happened while on the job.
When workers’ compensation insurance pays for an accident victim’s medical care and treatment, the insurer is typically entitled to pursue a lien (or setoff) against any recovery obtained in the companion third-party personal injury case. Some workers’ insurance companies will agree to waive that lien in the third-party case as part of the full and final settlement agreement in a workers’ compensation case.
If your employer or their insurer puts a full and final settlement agreement on the table, you need experienced legal counsel on your side who can advise you. Once an insurance company makes a settlement offer, an attorney can negotiate for a higher offer on your behalf to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your back injury or injuries.
A St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can explore the pros and cons of accepting a particular settlement offer as part of a full and final agreement. Your legal team can provide advice on the best course of action for obtaining the most compensation in your work injury case.
Speak With An Experienced St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
Back injuries that St. Louis workers suffer on the job can be debilitating and in some cases, permanent. Injured workers are often unsure of what they should do next or where they should turn after they sustain their injuries. You want an experienced legal team that is ready to address all of your legal needs.
You might wonder if a lawyer is necessary for a workers’ compensation claim. While your claim might seem straightforward at first, it can become more complicated if you have lasting impairments and the insurance company offers a settlement. Whether you are filing an initial claim or need to decide about a settlement, the right legal representation and advice are invaluable.
Your legal team can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your work accident and injuries and develop a plan of action for moving your claim forward. They can then zealously pursue the benefits and compensation that you deserve. If your employer’s insurer puts a settlement offer on the table, your lawyer can negotiate a better offer on your behalf or, if necessary, litigate the claim in court.
Seek a free case evaluation with a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer in St. Louis and the Metro East today. You never pay anything unless your claim or settlement secures money for you.