Workers Comp: How Do You Place A Value On A Back Injury?
So what you’re going to get paid is 66 and 2/3 percent the difference of your pre and post injury wages. So what does that mean? It’s pretty easy. We look at what you can make before the accident. A big back injury workers comp case is going to be a guy that can make 30 something dollars an hour prior to an accident. And then let’s say he gets injured and has surgery. Then a doctor puts pretty strict limitations on him. Let’s say no carrying greater than 10 pounds, no overhead lifting greater than 10 pounds. Okay so what are we going to do now? We’re going to get a vocational expert who is a paid consultant. He was going to come in and test your English, math skills. Go over your history of labor and your educational background. He’s going to render an opinion about what kind of job he could get in this market.
So what they might say is you can go to Lowe’s and make $12 an hour now in the paint department. Okay well you’ve gone from 30 something dollars an hour to $12 an hour. Okay now we can put a dollar figure on your pre and post injury wages and argue that before an insurance company or if it has to go to a hearing in front of the judge in front of the judge.
On top of that you’re going to get future medical. Maybe your doctor says you’re going to need surgery or injections or MRIs or x-rays or prescription medication. We’re going to get an expert to put a dollar figure on that amount as well.
Finally if you can go back to work making the same dollar figure as you did before then it’s going to very much devalue your case. There could be some money based on future medicals. You can make an argument that your employer is only giving you that same wage number because they don’t want to pay permanent damages. But if you can go back to work making the same amount as you did before the injury and it’s a back claim you’re going to have a very devalued claim. But that’s just a general overview on how we figure out what a back claim is worth permanently in a worker’s comp case.