Lower Back Workers' Compensation Case - $155,000 Settlement
While performing his duties on the job, this client suffered an injury to his lower back. As required by law, he reported it to his employer promptly and then contacted our offices about representing him in this matter. Our attorney filed a claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (formerly known as the Illinois Industrial Commission). After negotiations, an award in the amount of $155,000 was secured for this injured worker.
Work Related Back Injuries
What is commonly referred to as the “back” is a complex and sensitive network of bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilage and tissues. Each part works in concert with the others and if any one part is disturbed or broken, the result may be pain (ranging from mild to intolerable) or even paralysis. The “backbone” of this area of the body is of course, the spine, which is a column comprised of 33 vertebra which protect and enclose the spinal cord; nerve tissues which carry electronic impulses throughout the body. These vertebrae are cushioned from one another by intervertebral disks, which are bands of cartilage. When these bands become injured, they are often referred to as bulging disks or herniated disks.
In addition to physical trauma to the spine or spinal column, back injuries also can relate to muscles and ligaments in that area of the body. Strain or injury to these may also create intense long-term pain which may respond well to therapy, or in the case of torn, ripped or detached muscles/ligaments, require immediate surgical intervention and a life time of care.
But whether the injury relates to the spine or to muscles in the back, if the injury is a result of an event that arose out of and in the course of the person’s employment, it will likely be considered a workers’ compensation case. For some workers, such as those that lift heavy loads, work in a warehouse, or are construction workers, such a back injury may come as no surprise due to the nature of their work. Yet back injuries affect people in virtually ever field, from secretaries to data entry clerks. Every circumstance is different, and when an accident occurs, the injured person’s attorney will apply the law to determine if the event will be covered by the employer’s insurer.
Types of Employee Back Injuries
Some of the most common back and spinal injuries that grow out of employment include:
- An injury, sprain or strain of the muscles or ligaments in the back
- A ruptured or torn disc, which if significant, may cause the material inside to leak causing a herniation
- A compression of the lower back nerves (cauda equina syndrome) in which the nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord become pinched and under pressure
- A dislocation or fracture of the spine which may lead to paralysis if the spinal cord is disturbed
- Muscle spasms, stiffness or pain from overuse
- “Referred pain” from other conditions in other parts of the body
- Chronic Pain Syndrome from a previous serious injury
Workers’ compensation law has certain elements in common with other types of non-work-related injury cases, but in large part, it is very different. To speak with an attorney with over 25 years of experience in this area of law, contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at 800-996-4824 for a free consultation.