Back injuries caused by trauma to the spinal cord are some of the most common and serious injuries suffered by individuals on the job. Spinal fractures that involve broken vertebrae in particular can be extremely painful and limiting. These injuries often prevent employees from returning to work and in some cases, workers may be unable to return to their jobs or even earn a livelihood.
If you have suffered spinal injuries on the job that involve fractured vertebrae, it is important that you contact an experienced injury lawyer who will help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.
What Will Determine the Value of Your Vertebrae Fracture Settlement?
If you have suffered vertebral fractures on the job, the value of your injury settlement could come down to several factors including the following:
The nature and severity of your vertebrae injuries. Above all, the one significant factor that could determine the value of your vertebrae injury settlement is how severe your injury is. Generally speaking, spinal fractures are more severe injuries than other types of injuries such as back strains, sprains or soft tissue damage. Therefore, spinal fracture settlements tend to be much higher than the average back injury. In addition, when you suffer more severe injuries, you may have to take added time off work and may require future treatment including surgery.
Your ability to return to work. If your vertebral injuries prevent you from returning to work or earning your wages, that amount should be added to the value of your injury settlement. The more time you are unable to work, the higher your settlement amount is likely to be.
Your medical expenses. Paying medical bills after suffering a serious spinal injury can be daunting to say the least. Any medical bills or ongoing expenses related to your work injury should be factored into the settlement amount. These medical costs may range from surgeries and prescription drugs to medical equipment, therapy and care-related costs.
You have suffered a disability. If your spinal injury resulted in a disability, your settlement will likely be much higher. This is particularly true if you suffered a permanent injury that prevents you from returning to work or earning an income.
Your attorney's ability to negotiate. In addition to all these factors, you also need an experienced and knowledgeable work injury lawyer on your side who is a skilled negotiator. This will help ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible in your work injury case.
Understanding Fractured Vertebrae Injuries
A spinal fracture or the dislocation of one or more bones of the spinal column caused by a traumatic event can be extremely serious. A majority of these fractures occur due to a traumatic incident such as a car accident, a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, fall from heights or a blow to the back.
A fracture of the cervical spine can cause bone fragments to pinch and result in damage to the spinal cord or the nerves that surround it. In some cases, damage or injury to the spinal cord could lead to paralysis or even death. Those who suffer cervical fractures should receive prompt medical attention. In many cases, these patients may even need emergency care.
Depending on how severe your injury is, you may experience tremendous pain, difficulty walking or may lose sensation and movement in your arms and legs. How fractured vertebrae are treated depends on the type of bone break and the degree of injury and instability. While most fractures deal with rest and therapy, severe fractures may require surgery for the vertebrae to be realigned.
Causes and Types of Vertebrae Fractures
Here are some of the different types of spinal fractures:
Compression fracture: In these cases, the front of the vertebrae breaks and loses height while the back part remains stable. Vertebrae are shaped like a "wedge." While these types of injuries can cause pain, sometimes they could also be asymptomatic, which is why it is important you see a doctor if you suffer a back injury on the job.
Axial burst fracture: This typically occurs when a worker falls from a significant height and lands on his or her feet. In such cases, fragments of the vertebrae may separate and injure the spinal cord or the nerves of the spinal cord. In these situations, the fractures are diagnosed with an x-ray, CT scan and/or an MRI. These types of fractures may require surgery.
Chance fracture: This type of bone break is otherwise known as a "seatbelt injury" and is caused by a violent forward flexed injury.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Vertebrae Fracture Compensation?
Having an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer on your side can have a direct bearing on the outcome of your case. While it is technically possible to negotiate your own settlement with an insurance company or other party, it would not be a good idea because insurance companies operate with one goal in mind – to minimize your payout. In order to accomplish this goal, they will attempt to downplay or even discredit your claim. Our injury lawyers have a thorough understanding of California personal injury laws. We will fight on your behalf to help you secure the highest settlement possible in your case.
It is also important to remember that once you sign that settlement agreement, there is no turning back. This is why it is crucial that you do not rush into a settlement. Especially with injuries such as fractured vertebrae, it might be difficult to get a complete picture of all the treatments and therapies you will need to heal completely. So, it would be best to wait and discuss the value of your claim with your injury lawyer before you make any decision that could impact your financial future.
Your injury lawyer will carefully consider any limitations you face that prevent you from returning work as well as future medical issues and expenses that might crop up. That requires not just thorough knowledge of laws and regulations, but also significant work including research and paperwork.
The experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby will work diligently to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Our goal is to reduce your stress and help you smoothly navigate the legal process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.