Average l4-l5-s1 Workers’ Comp Settlement Amounts in California
  • Jan 30, 2024

Average l4-l5-s1 Workers’ Comp Settlement Amounts in California

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Below is a look at approximate l4-l5-s1 workers’ compensation settlements you might be able to receive in California.

Average l4-l5-s1 Workers’ Comp Settlements in California

Severity of Injury Average Settlement
Minor Approximately: $5,000
Moderate Approximately: $20,000
Severe Approximately: $50,000+

*Please note that these are average amounts, and the actual settlement can vary based on specific circumstances.

For workers’ compensation claims, injuries to the L4-L5-S1 region of the spine are a frequent occurrence. These injuries, which can range from minor strains to severe herniations, often result from workplace accidents such as falls, lifting heavy objects, or sudden movements.

The impact of these injuries on an individual’s life can be significant, affecting their ability to work, perform daily activities, and enjoy life. Consequently, these factors are considered when determining the settlement amounts for workers’ compensation claims.

Example Settlements

Here are three case summaries involving L4-L5-S1 Workers’ Comp injuries with the settlement amounts:

  1. An employee was in the process of coming down an A-frame ladder when it unexpectedly gave way beneath him. This led to a fall where he hit his head on the wall behind him. The accident resulted in herniated discs in both his neck and lower back. He was awarded a settlement of $2.4 million.
  2. A man was injured in a work truck accident at a construction site. The details of the injury are not specified, but given the context, it’s possible that it could involve an L4-L5-S1 injury. The settlement amount in this case was $6 million.
  3. A woman was rear-ended and injured her neck, shoulders, and mid-back. She also suffered the aggravation of her pre-existing lumbar bulges and herniations, which could involve the L4-L5-S1 region. The settlement amount in this case was $5,000.

Please note that the settlement amounts can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury, the impact on the individual’s ability to work, and other factors. We always recommend consulting with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.

Estimate What Your Settlement Could Be Worth

Wondering what your work comp case might be worth? Use our online calculator below to get a settlement estimate in 90 seconds or less, or take a look at our California work comp settlement chart for more information.

How Long Does a l4-l5-s1 Injury Case Take to Settle in California?

The duration of a workers’ compensation case for an L4-L5-S1 injury in California can vary greatly depending on the specifics of the case. After medical treatment and stabilization of your condition, you will usually settle or attempt to resolve your case before trial. This is often when you have reached what is called “maximum medical improvement.”

What Factors Affect a Settlement Amount?

Several factors can affect the amount of a workers’ compensation settlement:

  • Severity of the Injury: The more severe the injury, the higher the potential settlement. This is due to increased medical costs and potentially longer periods of time off work.
  • Medical Expenses: Current and future medical expenses related to the injury are a significant factor. This includes the cost of surgery, medication, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment.
  • Lost Wages: If the injury caused you to miss work, you might be compensated for lost wages. This is typically calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
  • Impairment Rating: If the injury leads to permanent impairment, this will be factored into the settlement. A doctor will typically assign an impairment rating, which is a percentage that represents your level of impairment.
  • Ability to Work: If the injury impacts your ability to work or requires you to change jobs, this could increase the settlement amount.
  • Jurisdiction: Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, which can affect the amount of the settlement.

Is There a Compensation Limit in California?

In the state of California, workers’ compensation benefits for employees are generally not subject to any cap or limit. This implies that irrespective of whether your employer opts for a basic insurance policy or invests in a more comprehensive one with higher monthly premiums, the benefits you are entitled to as an injured worker remain constant and cannot be restricted or denied.

Please note that there are specific limits on certain types of benefits. For example, temporary disability benefits can be provided for a maximum duration of 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of the injury. Exceptions to this rule exist in cases involving severe burns, chronic lung disease, or acute and chronic hepatitis B or C, where the duration of temporary disability benefits can extend up to 240 weeks.

As for permanent disability benefits, they are dependent on the degree of the employee’s impairment, which is represented as a percentage. In California, the duration for which an employee can receive permanent disability benefits is dictated by a schedule that aligns with the percentage of impairment.

l4 l5 s1 workers comp settlement

Will You Need Surgery?

The need for surgery in the case of an L4-L5-S1 injury under workers’ compensation depends on several factors. Most spinal motion disorders that affect the L5-S1 are treated with nonsurgical methods. However, if your lower back and/or leg symptoms worsen or do not go away despite these treatments, or if you are experiencing a medical emergency such as cancer or cauda equina syndrome, you may need to have surgery.

In some cases, work injuries involving herniated discs, which are common in L5-S1 workers’ comp cases, may require surgical intervention. A herniated disc injury happens when the soft center of the spinal disc pushes through a breach in the outer shell.

However, it’s important to note that the decision for surgery is typically made if the injury has been accepted by the workers’ compensation insurance company as compensable, and if you can prove that your need for a spinal fusion procedure is reasonably necessary and related to your work injury.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Take Care of Your Injury

Not taking care of an L4-L5-S1 injury can lead to several complications:

  • Increased Pain: If left untreated, the pain associated with the injury can increase over time.
  • Permanent Damage: In severe cases, such as a herniated disc, the disc can rupture and extrude disc material, causing spinal cord damage, including paralysis, and long-term, chronic pain and disability.
  • Development of Bone Spurs: In the event of a collapse of the disc located between the L5 and S1 vertebrae, the bones could potentially come into friction with each other. This can lead to inflammation and irritation, and in the long run, may result in the formation of bone spurs.
  • A disc that has collapsed can exert pressure on the L5 nerve root, leading to a variety of symptoms that are collectively referred to as sciatica. Sciatica typically involves pain that radiates from the back into the hip and outer side of the leg, which is often more intense than the accompanying lower back pain. This pain can be constant and may worsen when sitting.
  • Spasticity: Involuntary muscle contractions can cause stiff movements, muscle tightening, and spasms.
  • Neurogenic Bowel and Bladder: Loss of control over the bowel and bladder muscles can increase the risk of leaking, constipation, and urinary retention.

Benefits an Attorney Can Provide

Engaging a lawyer for a workers’ compensation case can offer a multitude of advantages, including:

  • Accurate Completion and Timely Submission of Paperwork: A lawyer ensures that all necessary paperwork is accurately filled out and submitted within the required timeframe. Clerical mistakes and missed deadlines are among the leading causes for the rejection of workers’ comp claims.
  • Increased Likelihood of a Higher Settlement: A skilled lawyer enhances your chances of receiving all the benefits you are eligible for, and for the longest duration possible. Research indicates that injured employees who engage a workers’ compensation lawyer receive a payout that can be up to five times greater than those who do not.
  • Balanced Representation: Employers and insurance companies have legal representation to manage workers’ comp claims. By engaging your own lawyer, you ensure that you have a representative to negotiate on your behalf. If your claim is rejected, your workers’ compensation lawyer can also appeal your case.
  • Access to Additional Resources: Engaging a lawyer provides you with access to resources that may otherwise be unavailable to you.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Lawyers with a specialization in workers’ compensation claims possess the expertise to negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement offer for you.
  • Guidance Throughout the Entire Process: A lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation can provide you with guidance throughout the entire process, from filing your claim to litigation against the insurance company if the claim is denied.

Please note that this information is intended for reference only and should not form the basis for any legal decisions. It’s always recommended to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.

Get Connected With an Attorney

Every L4-L5-S1 Workers’ Compensation case is unique, and having the right legal representation can make all the difference. If you or a loved one has been affected by an L4-L5-S1 injury in California, our team at LawLinq can help you find exceptional legal help, at no cost.

LawLinq is a California-based lawyer referral service that can connect you with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in your area. Our network of attorneys specializes in various areas of law, including Workers’ Compensation, and they have the knowledge and expertise to handle the complexities of these cases.

Our team will then match you with a suitable attorney from our network who can provide the legal assistance you need, at no cost or obligation. Remember, the right legal help can ensure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve for your L4-L5-S1 injury. To learn more, contact us today.

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