Workers’ Comp Settlement for Herniated Disc
A workplace neck or back injury can often result in herniated discs, which may required surgery and missed time from work. And the last thing you need is to worry about covering your bills while you’re trying to heal. But negotiating a workers’ comp settlement for herniated disc injuries can be difficult, as insurance carriers frequently dispute or deny claims. A Pasadena CA workers’ comp lawyer at Dewberry Law can help.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
The spinal cord is made up of bones, or vertebrae, and discs that sit between those bones to reduce stress on the column. Those discs can withstand intense pressure and force, but they do have limitations. Discs may become torn or ruptured when the inner material herniates out of the disc.
When the inner material of a disc becomes compromised, the vertebrae can press together, compromising the nerves that run through the spine. This may result in pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. The nerves can even become damaged over time.
Your herniated disc may also be referred to as a:
- Bulging disc
- Slipped disc
- Pinched nerve
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
Although these injuries are not exactly the same, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. For example, a bulging disc is one that has inner disc material exceeding normal margins around at least 50% of the full disc’s circumference. A herniated disc, however, involves the inner disc material being displaced by less than 50%. A herniated disc can quickly progress into a bulging disc, and they may exist at the same time with two different discs.
Common Causes of Herniated Discs
Herniated discs are often caused by pressure on the spinal column or a traumatic accident that involves the back. They may also be caused by cumulative trauma that occurs over time, such as repetitive activities. Common causes include the following:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Twisting or turning
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Falling from a height
- Repetitive motions
- Delivery vehicle accidents
Symptoms of Herniated Discs
Herniated discs can be extremely painful, with varying symptoms depending on the location and severity of the disc injury. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in your spinal cord range
- Numbness, burning, or tingling in your legs
- Difficulty walking or moving
- Weakness in your arms or legs
These signs may indicate that your herniated disc has ruptured or is becoming severe. You should seek medical attention right away.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Herniated Disc
If you suffer a herniated disc at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Filing a claim can get you the medical care and wage loss benefits that you need while you recover from your injuries.
The first thing you should do after being injured on the job is seek medical attention. Your workers’ comp insurance should cover your medical bills. Most doctors understand that and will allow you to postpone payments until your workers’ comp benefits go through.
You should also notify your employer of your injuries as soon as possible. It’s important to submit an initial report of injury documenting what happened and how you were injured. Your employer’s insurance company may try to deny the claim or delay your benefits. If that is the case, you should contact an attorney right away.
If your workers’ comp claim is approved, you may be able to receive the following:
- Medical benefits – These will cover emergency medical treatment as well as ongoing care and rehabilitative treatment. Herniated discs often require surgery, which can be expensive.
- Wage loss benefits – Workers’ comp will provide you with a portion of your lost wages. It can be difficult to make ends meet with only a percentage of your pay. That’s why a workers’ comp settlement for herniated disc may be an option for you.
- Job training – If your injuries make it so that you are unable to continue working in the same capacity that you have in the past, then you may be able to get job training to find a new position that is compatible with your limitations.
Workers’ Comp Settlement for Herniated Disc
Since herniated disc injuries are relatively common, and often result in expensive medical treatment, many insurance companies will try to fight your claim. They may deny your claim on the basis that you had a pre-existing condition, or assert that your injury was nothing more severe than a sprain. An experienced attorney can help you identify these tactics and negotiate a fair workers’ comp settlement for herniated disc injury.
Speak to a Pasadena CA Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you suffered a herniated disc injury at work, Dewberry Law can help. We can ensure that you file a claim correctly, or appeal a denial if necessary. Learn more about how we can assist with a workers’ comp settlement for herniated disc injury by contacting our office today.