Receiving workers’ compensation for back pain in North Carolina is often a complex process. While you can receive workers’ comp for back pain in NC, your employer or the employer’s insurance may not pay a sum that you feel is just. Workers’ comp claims for back pains must deal with certain processes in NC before an injured worker can receive compensation. If you or a loved one suffered a back injury in the workplace and you wish to file for workman’s compensation, you should speak to an experienced Charlotte workers’ comp lawyer. The Ramsay Law Firm will explain how workers’ comp claims for back pain are handled in North Carolina. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Types of Back Pain Covered by Workers’ Comp in NC
Back injuries at a workplace can vary depending on the type of employment a worker is engaged in. For example, employees who work on a construction site may be injured by incorrectly using a piece of equipment, while employees in an office may be injured by incorrectly lifting a heavy object.
Here are some of the most common injuries covered by workers’ comp in North Carolina:
- Lumbar Pain/Lower Back Pain
- Lower Back Sprains
- Nerve Damage/Nerve Impingement
- Herniated Disc
If you are suffering from one of the above-named injuries your workers’ compensation claim will not likely be denied. However, determining how much compensation you can receive from the claim as a result of an accident or specific traumatic incident depends on a variety of factors, such as your pre-injury earnings and your ability to return to work.
What are the Medical Benefits I Can Recover for My Back Pain?
Negotiating for medical benefits for back pain in North Carolina can be a frustrating and complex process. The workers’ compensation system in North Carolina is administrated by the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). The workman’s comp system run by the NCIC rates back injuries by assigning a numerical value to the back injury that determines the severity of the injury and how incapacitating the injury may be in the future.
The amount of money you will receive can be determined by the numerical value assigned to your back injury. Back injuries are judged by looking at the severity of the injury and the weeks of presumed disability. Once an injured worker attains “Maximum Medical Improvement” for their back injury, the doctor who is treating them can assign a number that is supposed to depict the level of permanent impairment to the injured worker’s back.
Ratings that are given to back injuries do not always reflect the severity of the injury and how it will affect you in the future. This will likely not stop an adjuster working for the employer’s insurance company from pressuring you into accepting the payment for your back injury, even if the compensation is significantly lower than you require or expect.
The amount of money to be paid to the injured worker is calculated by multiplying the injury percentage by the employee’s compensation rate and multiplying that number by the number of weeks of presumed disability for the particular injury.
Accepting or Declining the Injury Rating
Before you consider accepting or declining the injury rating that was calculated for you, you should think about a few things.
The first of these things is whether the compensation rate has been correctly calculated, if not you may be missing out on thousands of dollars that is owed to you. Next, you should consider the possibility that the injury may become worse. By accepting the injury rating payment, you only have two years to file with the NCIC to state that your injury has worsened, and you require additional disability benefits. Certain injuries, like nerve damage, recover much slower than other injuries and it could be over a year before full permanency is known.
You should also know that accepting the injury rating will terminate any ongoing payments of disability. This essentially means that you have relinquished your existing impairment to the workers’ comp insurance company in exchange for the payment. Finally, you should be aware that accepting the injury rating payment may bar you from receiving wage replacement benefits, these payments could last up to 500 weeks.
Individuals who should probably consider accepting the injury rating are those who can still return to working full-time hours, whether it's at a greater wage or the same wage as before their injury. Individuals who do not require extensive medical treatment for their injuries might consider taking the payment as well, but maybe better served by negotiating a full and final settlement.
Charlotte, NC Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Back Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered a back injury at work and you are having a difficult time receiving medical benefits for your injuries, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Our Charlotte injury firm is ready to fight for you. The attorneys at the Ramsay Law Firm have served residents of Charlotte for years in workers’ comp cases and will dedicate ourselves to serving you. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (704) 376-1616