Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement for Herniated Discs
Suffering any on-the-job injury can be disruptive, but work-related herniated disc injuries can feel particularly challenging. A herniated disc might not be as visible as some other injuries, but that does not make it any less painful. The impact of medical bills and missed work on your finances can cause a great deal of anxiety.
If you have suffered a herniated disc injury at work in NYC, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and other losses. Unlike injuries to knees, arms, and other extremities, you are only eligible for monetary benefits when a herniation causes medically necessary lost time from work with documentation.
How do you pursue a herniated disc workers’ compensation settlement, and what is the average amount of money an employee receives for this type of injury?
The experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., want to help you understand what you are entitled to claim. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us fight for the maximum workers’ comp settlement you deserve.
What Are Herniated Disc Injuries?
The spinal column is made up of vertebrae, which are the bones that protect your spinal cord. Each vertebra is a bone. The spinal column has a range of motion that includes bending forward, backward, and to the sides. The spine can also twist left and right. Intervertebral discs are cartilaginous structures like cushions between the vertebrae that keep the bones from scraping or colliding with each other when these movements occur.
Sometimes, trauma or repetitive motion can cause one or more of these discs to slip out from their natural space between the bones. This herniation can cause pain due to:
- The pressure of the vertebrae on the spinal disc
- The vertebrae rubbing against each other in areas where the disc no longer provides protection
- Compression of nerves where the disc intrudes on their space
What Are the Common Causes of Herniated Discs?
Herniated discs often result from cumulative trauma over time, but acute injuries can also cause them. Some of the most common causes of herniated discs in the workplace include:
- Repeated heavy lifting, especially with improper form
- Frequent bending and twistin
- Operating vibrating machinery like jackhammers
- Driving vehicles over rough terrain
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Car accidents while driving for work
Jobs with high rates of disc herniation claims include:
- Construction workers
- Truck drivers
- Warehouse workers
However, any employee doing physical labor with poor ergonomics can be at risk for a herniated disc injury.
What Are the Treatment Options Available for Herniated Disc Injuries?
Treatment depends on the severity of the herniated disc and the specific nerves affected. Options may include:
- Medications like NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or steroids to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and proper movement
- Epidural steroid injections to relieve nerve compression
- Spinal traction to take pressure off the affected disc
- Surgery such as a discectomy or spinal fusion for severe herniated discs
Most patients improve with conservative treatment. Surgery is usually recommended only after at least six weeks if less-invasive options do not relieve pain and dysfunction.
Why Workers’ Compensation Matters for Herniated Discs
Filing a workers’ compensation claim provides vital protections and benefits, including:
- Coverage of all reasonable medical costs related to the injury
- Partial wage replacement while recovering
- Job protection so you can return to your position after healing
- Rehabilitation services to help you get back to work
- Compensation for any permanent impairment or disability
This financial protection can make a significant difference in getting the care you need and recovering to your fullest abilities.
Though people do receive lump-sum settlements from injuries that result in disc herniations, they are not automatic. Many municipal employers will not settle such a case on a lump-sum basis. Additionally, such a settlement is rare unless the injured worker is currently receiving payments.
When to Initiate a Workers’ Comp Claim for a Herniated Disc
You should start a claim as soon as possible after a work-related back or neck injury. There are strict deadlines for workers’ compensation claims, usually requiring employer notification within 30 days of the herniated disc injury. Delaying medical treatment can jeopardize your health and your ability to receive benefits.
Even if you’re unsure if your herniated disc is work-related, it’s better to file a claim immediately to preserve your rights. Our experienced attorneys can help investigate the cause and build your case. Don’t risk losing the workers’ compensation settlement you deserve by waiting too long.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can an Employee Receive?
In New York, workers’ comp benefits pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses relating to a work injury as long as the employee accesses care from an authorized provider. In some cases, you may also receive compensation for travel expenses to and from your medical appointments.
If your injuries temporarily or permanently prevent you from returning to work, you can also receive two-thirds of your weekly wages, up to a capped limit. If you can only return to a lower-paying job, you may be entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your current wages.
The amount of time you receive workers’ compensation benefits will depend on whether your disability is total or partial, as well as whether it is temporary or permanent. In some cases, you may wish to receive a lump-sum payment rather than weekly benefits. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you determine which option makes the most sense for you.
What Factors Determine Settlement Amounts for Herniated Discs?
The amount of a workers’ compensation settlement for a herniated disc depends on several factors, including:
- Severity of the disc herniation and amount of impairment
- Type and length of treatment needed
- Wage loss from missed work time
- Extent of permanent work restrictions
- Estimated future medical costs
- Age and pre-existing conditions
More severe herniations requiring extensive treatment and long periods away from work may warrant higher settlements. Permanent injuries at younger ages can also increase claim values.
There is no “average” herniated disc workers’ comp settlement because every case contains multiple different factors that cannot be considered in an average. Our experienced attorneys consider all the details of your particular case in seeking fair compensation through negotiations or a hearing. We’ll work to ensure you receive the maximum amount you deserve.
How Can The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., Help with Herniated Disc Injury Claims?
The experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., want to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve by:
- Conducting an in-depth investigation of your injury’s cause
- Gathering medical evidence confirming your diagnosis and treatment
- Consulting medical experts to review your case
- Aggressively negotiating for a favorable settlement
- Taking your case to a hearing if the insurance company does not offer an appropriate amount
- Explaining every step so you know what to expect
- Delivering compassionate guidance throughout the legal process
Contact us today for a free consultation. Let us use our experience to pursue the herniated disc workers’ compensation settlement amount you deserve.