Back injury on job/required surgery

Author Subject: Back injury on job/required surgery
Mary Posted At 17:17:06 05/30/2000
I'm in Arizona. In Jan 99 while handling heavy materials repetitiously at work my back had enough and gave out on me. I went through the usual reporting process and was sent to the doctor by my employer. Long story short; after physical therapy and this and that, and a few doctors of their choice (referrals only) and mine, I ended up with a fantastic doctor of my choice who said I needed surgery. (COMPLETELY trashed disk) Final "confirmation" by their doc and I had the surgery. Everything through the whole process had to be approved by my adjuster, but I have had ZERO problems throughout.

Prior to surgery I had become so disabled by the injury that I had to use a cane to walk, and I had spazms that literally put me on the ground. I couldn't drive or do anything really. After surgery my recovery continues and I can walk normally, am off all pain meds, and I feel my recovery will be good. The problem is that I was making good money and had great benefits where I was working. The town I live in is a real LOW income type area and pay for jobs other than what I was doing is in the $5-7.00/hr range. I will be released for work soon but there's no way I can go back to my job since I can't do the lifting, and everything in that company requires lots of heavy lifting.

I understand that Arizona isn't required to pay any type of "re-training" assistance for people like me. A friend who is a retired attorney in another state told me that I need to get a lawyer NOW because I will rate a significant settlement which could off-set some of the pay/benefit differences, and that I should not attempt to go back to work until I do so and things are settled. I can't seem to find any information concerning just what CIGNA would base a settlement on when the doc releases me for work, and what that might be compared to if I were to involve a lawyer. Again, I've had ZERO problems with CIGNA thus far. It was a legitimate claim and my doc did fantastic work on my spine...though recovery sucked and is slow. Can anyone give me some pointers about what to expect and what a lawyer would/could do for me when it comes time to settle this claim? Thanks.
BobK Re: Back injury on job/required surgery (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:12:14 06/01/2000

I think you're wrong about the voc rehab. Arizona does provide it.
See this site for more:

Since you say CIGNA is treating you well I asssume you are getting your
TTD benefits while recovering from surgery?

I'm not in AZ, but did a quick check and I see that AZ uses a "statutory schedule" to
calculate the amount of the (permanent partial disability) settlement you
mentioned. This MAY make things simpler and an attorney MAY not be required. If you
do use one, AZ wc law says he gets up to 15% of your benefits as his fee. (This is less
than many states.) Generally speaking, a good lawyer can help you receive more in benefits than
you could receive on your own, and the 15% is worth it.

One area to be aware of is your impairment rating--if AZ uses them (not all states do).
In other words, if you reach MMI and are released to work with restrictions, and a
doctor evaluates you and gives you an impairment rating (expressed as a percentage),
that rating determines the amount of your settlement. The ratings given
are notoriously low. A good wc lawyer can steer you to an honest doctor
for a more accurate rating, and therefor a bigger settlement.

An experienced lawyer may also point out additional benefits you are
entitled to--such as voc rehab.

You can get to AZ wc info online by going to, choosing "state resources,"
Arizona, and then choosing "cases and codes," or searching for "workers'

Best wishes.
david fogg Re: Back injury on job/required surgery (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 22:22:32 06/21/2000

i have recently blown two discs in my back and need a little help on settlement issue please contact. Dave
EDMONDS Re: Back injury on job/required surgery (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 19:02:42 01/16/2001

Almost a year ago now I was hit in my back with a pick-up truck on the job. Since the injury I had surgery this past Oct.. The person that hit me I feel was neligent. From where I was standing he just did not look back. I have a lawyer for workmanscomp.
My question is can I bring suit on the person that hit me even thought it has been almost a year. I am in rehab. at the moment . I have about eight more weeks of that.
My second question is I was leaving that job anyway because I was offered a better job making $500 + a month more. This job included lifting and was a trail position that lead into management. Now I can take that job what can I do? Thank you for you time.
jay Re: Back injury on job/required surgery (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 13:17:56 03/22/2001

Let me start off by saying hi well i've had a back injury at my job on a friday it startede bothering me well i work all week end at enoughther job and wen't back to work at my regaler job on monday after working 12hr that monday my back was killing me so the next day i called in and told them that i had hurt my back at work.So a couple of days wen't by and i wen't to the doctor and there secratary told me when she called my work that my boss wanted to talk to me befor i saw the doctor when i talked to my boss he said he didn't fill that i shouldn't be coverd under there workmans comp so basicly he was not going to pay for me to see the doctor and i know that i hurt my back there.But finely he says that he turned the claim into workmans comp. witch i don't know if he did or if he's just telling me that so i'll stay off his back.I know that there was a couple other people in the last 6 months that hurt there back at the job and i think he is worryed about his insurance going up i need to know what i should do because i have know money coming in. p.s thank you

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