North Carolina Workers’ Compensation for Back Injuries: Average Lump Sum Compensation for Medical Expenses and Typical Insurance Company Excuses

When you submit a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury, you will of course be quite concerned about whether or not your claim is approved. Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not be entitled to a lump sum payment for medical expenses. A lump sum payment will not include weekly payments for loss of wages, which is calculated separately.

Even if you “win” a lump sum payment, however, the real question is how much you won — will it be enough to fully compensate you?

Average Workers Compensation Back Injury Settlements and Awards

Nationwide, about 75 percent of all workers’ compensation claimants receive some amount of compensation. Although the average lump sum settlement or award is between $20,000 and $25,000, the amounts vary greatly — which unsurprising, since back injuries vary greatly in severity. Nearly 10 percent of successful claimants received over $60,000 in compensation

Unfortunately, the wheels of justice can turn slowly in the workers’ compensation system On average, it takes an injured worker about 18 months to recover lump sum medical payments for a back injury. This is a few months longer than the average delay for workers suffering other types of maladies, mainly because it often takes a worker with a back injury longer to reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

Keep on Fighting

It is important to note that although about three-quarters of claimants eventually received compensation, only 30 percent were initially accepted, while the other 70 percent of applications were rejected — including over 60 percent of all successful claims. These people were able to overcome initial rejections because (i) they understood the value of persistence, and (ii) in many cases they retained an attorney after their initial rejection.

Common Causes of Workplace Back Injuries

Following are some of the most common reasons why workers suffer back injuries:.

  • Participating in heavy manual labour, including package delivery;
  • Persistence in manual labor past the point of exhaustion;
  • Extremely repetitive physical activities; and
  • Improperly equipped workstation seating for sedentary employees ;

Common Excuses the Insurance Company Might Use to Oppose Your Claim

The possible excuses that the workers’ compensation insurance company might use to oppose your claim are endlessly creative. Some of the most common ones appear below:

  • You had a pre-existing injury that explains your condition;
  • Your injury is not work-related;
  • You failed to meet a filing deadline;
  • You fabricated the injury, or it is not as serious as your are claiming. This excuse is particularly popular in the case of back injuries, because it is sometimes difficult to marshall convincing medical evidence of back pain.

The Sooner You Act, the Better

North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney John A. Hedrick has been assisting workers’ compensation claimants for over two decades now., and he has been certified as a specialist in workers’ compensation law by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization. Feel free to contact us by phone at 919-626-3895, or fill out our online contact form. We take cases in Raleigh as well as throughout North Carolina.