Workers’ Comp Settlements for Neck Injuries
If you’ve sustained a neck injury on the job, you know how frustrating the pain can be, and how difficult it is to maintain a normal quality of life. The last thing you want to have to deal with is extensive medical bills and lost wages. A workers’ comp claim can provide valuable benefits for you and your family. But what you can you expect with workers’ comp settlements for neck injuries in California?
How Do I Know If I’ve Sustained a Neck Injury at Work?
Neck injuries can cause severe, long-term damage, especially if they involve herniated cervical discs. Because of the neck’s location between the chest and head, a neck injury can result in pain across the neck, shoulders, arms, upper back, or chest. Symptoms of neck injuries vary, but may include:
- Stiffness of muscles
- Inability to turn the head in one or more directions
- Headaches or migraines
- Pain in other parts of the body
- Trouble sleeping due to pain
In some cases, you may have been diagnosed with a shoulder injury only to find that you actually injured your cervical spine. Ask your doctor to use diagnostic testing, such as x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to rule out a cervical spine injury, herniated disc, or fracture that could be causing the pain.
Make sure to immediately report the injury to your employer. And be as thorough as you can when describing your symptoms and limitations to your doctor. This will be crucial to your workers’ comp claim.
What Are Common Causes of Neck Injuries on the Job?
Common workplace neck injuries include:
- Cervical dislocation
- Herniated or bulging disc
Neck injuries can be caused by the following:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Employees who travel for work or drive as part of their duties may get into a crash, resulting in whiplash, fractured vertebrae, or pinched nerves.
Slips and Falls
Broken stairs, slippery floors, debris on the floor, poor lighting, and flooring problems can cause employees to slip, trip, or fall at work. When you strike the floor, this may result in trauma to the neck.
Heavy Lifting or Overexertion
Jobs that require frequent lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of objects weighing more than 20 lbs can result in neck injuries.
When objects overhead are not secure enough, you are at risk of having them fall on you as you are moving products from one place to another. This is common among order pickers, warehouse workers, and forklift drivers.
If your job requires to continuously use your head, arms, neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest muscles, your neck may suffer injury due to the repetitive motions.
How Are Neck Injuries Treated?
Minor neck injuries, such as a strain or sprain, do not usually require surgery; however, more severe conditions, such as fractures, may require extensive treatment. Workers’ comp neck injuries often require:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Pain medications
- Rest (time off work)
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic treatment
- Steroid injections
- Surgical stabilization
What Are Workers’ Comp Settlements for Neck Injuries Worth?
Although each neck injury and workers’ comp settlement is different, you may be able to obtain the following:
Payment of medical bills through a Lifetime Medical Award
If you were injured on the job, workers’ comp should take care of all related medical bills. If you obtain treatment that the workers’ comp insurance company does not agree with, you may have to appeal their denial of coverage. Coverage of your medical bills should last as long as you have related medical treatment.
Reimbursement of lost wages
Workers’ comp will typically cover up to two-thirds of your lost wages while you are not able to work. These temporary total or partial disability payments are not intended to be permanent. Once you return to work, they will cease.
Payment for permanent partial disability
If your injury is permanent and you have completed medical treatment up to maximum medical improvement, then you may be eligible to receive PPD benefits due to loss of use of your neck, one or both arms, or any other body part that is affected, which is common with cervical disc injuries.
Assistance with vocational rehabilitation
If you are unable to complete the duties of your pre-injury job, then you may be able to get additional vocational training to find a new occupation.
Payment to your family for death benefits
If your injury results in death, your family members may be entitled to death benefits under workers’ comp.
Call a Pasadena Workers’ Comp Attorney for Help With Your Claim
Workers’ comp settlements for neck injuries can be difficult to obtain, and chances are the insurance company will try deny your claim or reduce your benefits. An experienced attorney can help you fight for your rights and understand your options. Call Dewberry Law today.