How Do You Calculate a Lower Back Injury Settlement Amount Under Workers’ Compensation?

Calculating your lower back injury settlement amount under workers' compensation requires looking at a couple factors. First, you must prove that you are eligible to receive benefits. To do this, you usually need to show that you are a qualifying employee and that the injury is work-related. Next, you need to properly meet your reporting requirements by notifying your employer of the injury and promptly seeking medical attention.

When you injure your lower back, middle back or in fact any portion of your back while working, you are entitled to benefits under the Iowa workers' compensation laws. Lower back injuries are significant in the Iowa workers' compensation system because back limitations can have a drastic impact on a person’s ability to work. The effect an Iowa workers' comp injury has on your ability to work is the primary driver of the amount of money the system will pay for a work related injury. If an Iowa employee sustains a permanent back injury at work, he or she is entitled to benefits based on how the back injury affects their ability to work and earn money.

What Do You Need to Prove to Get Workers' Compensation for Back Injuries?

To be eligible for workers' compensation, you need to show:

  • You are an eligible employee
  • You were injured while at work or while performing job duties
  • Your injury has kept you from working for at least three days

Who Is Eligible for Workers' Compensation?

Under Iowa law, independent contractors, government workers, members of an LLC or corporation, and those entitled to benefits under a different law don't qualify for workers' compensation. In those cases, you may have to pursue benefits another way. A work injury attorney can help you understand and protect your rights under Iowa and federal law.

What Qualifies as a “Work Injury”?

A work injury doesn't have to occur on the physical job site for it to qualify as a work injury. But you do need to prove that you were on-the-clock at the time of the injury, or that the lower back injury is because of your job. In other words, it doesn't need to be an accident that causes the lower back injury to qualify. It can be something that was cumulative, occurring over the course of several months or years. 

Unfortunately, many employers dispute workers' compensation claims on the basis that they are not work-related. For example, employers may say that you were acting outside the scope of your job when the injury occurred, or that the low back pain is because of a previous injury. A workers' compensation attorney can help you refute these attempts to undermine the credibility of your claim.

What Is the Average Lower Back Injury Settlement Amount Under Workers' Compensation?

The payout for the lower back injury settlement under workers' compensation depends on the circumstances and applicable law. Factors that impact the workers' compensation payout include the extent and severity of the injury, the timeliness in which you reported the injury, and the impairment rating given to you by your workers' compensation doctor. Additionally, the applicable law and your compliance level with the doctors' recommendations play a key role. 

You can increase your chances of winning and maximizing by:

  • Hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help you handle your claim
  • Refraining from using your social media accounts while your claim is pending
  • Following your workers' compensation doctor's recommendations
  • Attending all doctor appointments

How Can an Attorney Help Maximize Injured Employees' Workers' Compensation Settlements for Their Back Injuries?

Employers and their insurance companies are more likely to take your claim seriously if you have an attorney on your side. An attorney understands the applicable law and what it entitles to you. He or she can diligently help you prepare the proper workers' compensation application forms and gather appropriate evidence for the hearings. 

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Photo of Niko Pothitakis
For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.