Back injuries are one of the most prominent workplace concerns worldwide, and for a good reason. It can significantly affect a person's quality of life and productivity at work. Fortunately, workers' compensation settlements can help injured workers pay their medical expenditures while out of work.
This article discusses all you need to know about back injury workers' compensation settlements and how Deuk Spine Institute can assist you.
Workers' compensation settlements are a way for injured workers to acquire compensation or benefits for a back injury that happened at work. It’s basically workers' insurance coverage, allowing employees to negotiate payment for back injury benefits to which they may be entitled after filing a claim form.
The type of your back injury, the extent of the injury, medical expenses, and disability are factors that determine the value of a back injury settlement.
Whether mild or severe, a back injury can make it difficult to work productively. Unfortunately, jobs requiring manual labor, such as construction and manufacturing work, put a lot of strain on your back that can result in injuries. Back injuries can also be caused or exacerbated by even normal office work, whether from uncomfortable office chairs or repetitive tasks.
According to a recent estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over one million workers suffer back injuries in the workplace each year, accounting for one out of every five injuries.
Most back injuries occur from occupational hazards such as occupational burnout, inadequate safety training, and manual handling of heavy loads. Other common causes of work-related back injuries include:
It’s possible to claim compensation for any form of back injury that occurred due to work and someone else's negligence at work. The following are some of the most common back injuries for which compensation is sought:
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the nerve roots in the lower and lumbosacral spine. The nerve roots may be pinched by the narrowing of their pathway, also known as foraminal stenosis, which irritates the nerves and causes pain and other sciatica symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, and shooting pain.
They are the most common back injuries of all. A single incidence of inappropriate lifting or overstretching the back muscles might result in back pain. Employees who sit or stand for lengthy periods may experience lower back pain.
At the same time, those who are particularly active may sustain a sprain. Most of these injuries are minor and can be managed with pain relievers and physical therapy.
Spinal stenosis occurs when, usually due to the age of the body, the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the important spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is called cervical stenosis when it occurs in the neck area, thoracic stenosis in the middle to upper part of the back, and lumbar stenosis in the lower back area.
Narrowing can happen for several reasons, such as ligaments and cartilage thickening in the canal, or excessive bone growth simply causing the opening to become more slender over time. The risk of this problem increases as a patient passes 50 years of age, due in part to years of stress on the spine and the tendency of tissue and bone to become less sturdy or flexible with decades of repeated use. Bone disease or spinal injury may also be contributing factors in stenosis of the spine, in patients of any age.
This involves a variety of structural, biochemical, nutritional, and molecular changes that occur in the spinal disc over time or following an initial injury to the intervertebral spinal disc in your spine.
Degenerative disc disease is a common cause of back pain and neck pain (discogenic pain), sciatica and radiculopathy. The pain in your back from degenerative disc disease comes from irritated (inflamed or compressed) nerve fibers nearby, and can be categorized as a mechanical instability.
When a vertebra fracture or dislocates, bone fragments can pinch and injure the spinal nerves and cord. The most common causes of spinal fractures are accidents, falls, and sports.
The severity of injuries can range from minor ligament and muscle strains to bone vertebral fractures and dislocations, as well as devastating spinal cord injury. Many fractures can be treated without surgery, but severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bones.
Suppose a work-related back injury has left you with a long-term handicap or limited your work capacity. In that case, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits from your employer's insurance company.
Employees must, however, notify their employer as soon as possible or risk losing their benefits. The time limit for reporting a workers' compensation injury varies by state, ranging from 72 hours to two years. Most workers' compensation claims require a report within 30 days to begin the process.
Once the workers' compensation claim is brought to the insurance company, and the claim is accepted, a certain amount is given as reimbursement. Employees can, however, seek a worker compensation settlement if they disagree with the amount of money awarded by the insurance company and believe it is not a fair sum.
It’s important to report a back injury right away. The measures you take after being injured may have an impact on whether or not you receive compensation for your work-related back injury. Otherwise, you will be responsible for those medical treatments and costs.
The first step is to notify your employer of the accident, preferably as soon as it occurs. Workers in some states are required to file an accident report by a certain date. For example, employees in New York and California have 30 days to notify their employer of a work-related injury.
It’s also important to notify your supervisor in writing, as you would with any legal process. Even if you offer verbal notice first, a written follow-up will provide a formal record.
As part of the workers' compensation claim process, your employer will provide you with an official claim form. If a claim form is not provided, you should seek one from your state's workers' compensation board.
On your workers' compensation claim form, you’ll often need to provide the following information:
Once the insurance company has assessed your claim, an administrator will notify you when approved and the number of benefits you are entitled to.
Work-related injuries usually improve with rest, staying active, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. You can gradually resume your normal activities after a few days of relaxation.
Other back injury treatments include:
Surgery for back injuries is very rare. However, some injuries necessitate surgical intervention. Many surgical medical treatments, including minimally invasive approaches, can treat back injuries and pains.
This revolutionary procedure was developed by Dr. Ara Deukmedjian MD, a world-renowned neuro-spine surgeon and a true pioneer in minimally invasive, laser, and endoscopic back and neck pain treatment.
Deuk Laser Disc Repair is a form of endoscopic spine surgery performed in a state-of-the-art surgery center under sedation while the patient relaxes. This procedure does not compromise or weaken the health and integrity of the spine.
If you have a herniated or bulging disc or chronic back or neck pain, submit your MRI for a free review.
Here's how it works:
Deuk Laser Disc Repair requires a very small incision, less than a quarter inch long. A cylindrical rod called a dilator is inserted in the small opening to gently spread the muscle to create a small passage and guide through which the surgery is performed endoscopically.
The tip of the dilator is advanced into the symptomatic disc through the tear in the annulus where the herniation originates, and a tube called the retractor slides over the dilator and is carefully positioned into the painful disc. The rest of the entire Deuk laser disc repair surgery will occur inside this narrow tube.
To access the spine, an endoscopic camera is inserted into the tubular retractor to allow the surgeon to guide the laser inside each symptomatic disc. This process ensures that bones and surrounding tissues are not damaged, unlike traditional spinal fusions, microdiscectomy
and artificial discs.
The Holmium YAG laser used in the Deuk laser disc repair is manipulated accurately with millimeter precision under endoscopic visualization to remove only painful inflammatory tissue from the back of the disc.
The laser is precisely used to remove damaged disc material that is causing the pain. This process is called debridement of the annular tear and Dr. Ara Deukmedjian MD was the first in the world to use and publish this technique.
Once the laser has removed the inflamed painful part of the annular tear and the herniated nucleus pulposus, the endoscope and tubular retractor are removed, leaving less than one-quarter inch incision in the skin, which can be closed with a single stitch and a band-aid.
Recovery time: The total time for the Deuk laser disc repair surgery is one hour, and the patient is in recovery for about 45 to 60 minutes before being released to go home–a huge difference between other spinal surgeries. Hospitalization is not needed and all risks of hospital-based surgery are avoided.
Also, with the Deuk laser disc repair, there’s no loss of normal movement, and the flexibility of the disc and joint is preserved. With endoscopic Deuk laser disc repair, there is no fusion, metal implants or biological material added to the spine. The procedure is all-natural, allowing your body to heal the herniated or bulging disc itself.
After the surgery, the Deuk laser disc repair patient is back home, enjoying life with a speedy recovery allowing normal activities without pain. Another advantage of Deuk laser disc repair is that no opioids or powerful narcotic painkillers are needed after surgery.
Open spine surgeries like microdiscectomy, laminectomy, artificial disc replacement, and fusion all cause so much internal trauma that patients are in severe pain after surgery and must take painkillers for weeks after their surgery–but not with Deuk laser disc repair.
There are two variants of discectomy surgery that patients can undergo; an open discectomy or a microdiscectomy. Discectomy is far more invasive than endoscopic laser spine surgery and therefore has more complications, postoperative pain, longer recovery, and more scar tissue.
The main distinction is that an open discectomy features a larger incision, more normal spinal bone and ligaments are removed, and there is more scar tissue and pain than a microdiscectomy. This procedure gives room for the underlying risk of nerve damage to the neighboring nerves of the vertebrae.
The spinal column can also become unstable due to the removed bones, ligaments, and facet joints. In such cases, a spinal fusion is conducted following the discectomy to re-stabilize the spinal column, marginally increasing the patient’s recovery time.
Recovery Time: Patients are commonly admitted to the hospital for a few days after the procedure. This is done to guarantee a low risk of infection and complications.
Within 3-4 weeks, patients should be able to return to desk work, and within 8-12 weeks, they should be able to return to heavy lifting duties. Surgeons may prescribe physical therapy to help the spine regain its complete range of motion.
Frequently performed alongside a Foraminotomy and/or traditional spinal fusion, a Laminectomy involves removing parts of the lamina in the spine that may be compressing the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
Laminectomy is performed as a treatment for Spinal Stenosis which occurs when, usually due to the age of the body, the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the important spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is called cervical stenosis when it occurs in the neck area, thoracic stenosis in the middle to the upper part of the back, and lumbar stenosis in the lower back area.
Typically involving a large incision and the moving of muscle, skin, and ligaments, Laminectomy surgery enables surgeons to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves by removing the lamina bone or bone spurs. The problem with this method is that it causes collateral damage to soft tissues in the area to reach the problematic region.
Recovery time: After surgery, you will be sent to a recovery room, where medical staff will keep tabs on you for potential issues from the surgery or anesthetic. It is also possible you will be asked to move your arms and legs. To ease pain at the incision site, your doctor may prescribe medication.
You may be able to go home the same day as your operation, while some people may require a brief stay in the hospital. The doctor can also recommend physical therapy to help you gain strength and flexibility.
Depending on how much lifting, walking and sitting your job requires, you may be able to return to work in a few weeks. If you also have a spinal fusion, your recovery time will be lengthened.
Foraminotomy is a fairly-invasive, open-back surgery that is used to treat the effects of foraminal stenosis in the spine that requires the repositioning of tissues and cutting of bone to alleviate pressure on the nerve.
The recovery time for a traditional foraminotomy is slow and steady, with patients driving a car and performing light physical activities after 8 weeks and a full recovery within 18 months.
Recovery time: After surgery, pain at the incision site and back muscular spasms are common, but they normally disappear after a week or two. The average recuperation duration is two to three months.
To ensure the best potential outcome following the foraminotomy, patients must complete physical therapy as directed by their spine surgeon.
Back problems can be extremely complicated. Even the tiniest niggling injuries can result in months or even years of back pains. As a result, there is no pre-determined formula or monetary limit with workers' compensation agreements. A compensation settlement is unique to the wounded person, as with liability injury cases.
However, certain factors can affect workers' compensation awards. The extent of the lumbar spine damage, the medical treatment necessary (surgical vs. non-surgical), and the inability to return to your pre-injury job determine the possible settlement value of a work-related back injury claim.
The typical back injury compensation, according to Martindale-Nolo data, was between $20,000 and $25,000. Approximately 75% of all claimants obtain compensation at some point; however, it can take up to a year to collect it.
Another data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) reported that the average workers' compensation costs for a low back injury were about $37,000, while insurers paid around $33,000 for an upper back injury claim.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, the average cost of a worker's compensation back injury claim per firm is between $40,000 and $80,000. Medical treatment, medical charges, medical bills, pay loss compensation, vocational rehabilitation services supplied. At the same time, the case is still open, and a negotiated settlement is all included in this figure.
At Deuk Spine Institute, we pride ourselves on offering workers' compensation back treatment and neck treatment that gets you back on your feet. We provide world-class physicians who deliver high-quality, patient-centered care.
Our minimally invasive procedures are designed to maintain the body's natural health and provide patients with a new lease on life.
Deuk Spine Institute has done hundreds of back injury treatments and has a 95 percent success rate in pain reduction. The institute features world-class physicians on staff, the latest and most advanced equipment, and an unequaled patient experience pathway in efficiency and quality of care.
We treat workers' compensation patients for back and spine conditions like the fractured disc, strains, sciatica, bulging discs, pinched nerves, and herniated discs. Better yet, we treat those issues in the most minimally invasive way possible.
The services we provide are unique globally, and our therapies are curative rather than palliative. Furthermore, Dr. Deukmejian, a pioneer in the field of neuro-spine surgery, is personally committed to each patient's well-being and has gone to tremendous measures to ensure the best possible results.
At Deuk Spine, each care is tailored to each individual. We have a team of account managers and patient coordinators specialized in workers' compensation, and respond to all communications and questions as soon as possible. We also place a high value on on-time appointments so that you can get relief as soon as possible.
Our communication is straightforward: you should not be baffled by your medical therapy. We keep you informed every step of the way, including outlining any claims you might have.
Get started with your back injury treatment for your workers' compensation claim. If you suffered a work-related back injury or if you suspect that your back injury is work-related, Call us at 1-877-751-DEUK (3385) to speak to one of our workers' compensation representatives.