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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    North Lake Tahoe

    Thumbs down Typical Percentage Rating For Herniated L5 S1

    In july '07 I injured my lower back lifting an object on to a trailer with another employee. After 2 months of extreme lower back and sciatic pain, I had an MRI. 4 mm protrusion of the L5 S1 with early signs of degenerative disk disease. I have had 15 P.T. visits and seen a pain and spine specialist. He pushed on my back super hard and said injections were all he had to offer and was pretty rude. I went home and was nauseous as hell and a lot more sore than usual for the next four days. My doc says im perm. and stationary and should see A.M.E. for rating. I have representation since my employer threatend to sue me for oweing money for health ins. when in fact I over paid. She also told state fund that I did not show up for modified duty when in fact I did and her list of work was outside of my work restrictions and she then chose to march around and cuss and yell and throw things at the wall. Ive been collecting disability since state fund cut me off at that point. So my question is... What is the typical percentage rating for this injury and what type of settlement will play a part in this? I am 26 strong and healthy years old. (minus lower back now) I did labor for an excavating company and jump off 60 foot cliffs and 90 foot jumps on my snowboard... Now I sit around in pain being a jerk to everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Typical Percentage Rating For Herniated L5 S1

    Without a crystal ball, no one can really say. That is what the rating will do. Why does your Dr say you have to go to the AME for a rating? AME's are used when: atty's want to get the case moving, or there is a dispute between the parties. Is your atty pushing you to the AME?

    A 4 mm bulge is a pretty small bulge, that is why that state they can't do any more for you.

    I hope you are really looking for a job. And working hard to rehab yourself.

    I have clients with spine injuries facing future surgeries and their PD amounts were around $10,000. I would be surprised with no surgical findings if you came in at even this much.

    Best of wishes to you. I know it sucks being as young as you are, and as active as you are, and being injured, but you will recover, and go forward with your life.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    North Lake Tahoe

    Angry Re: Typical Percentage Rating For Herniated L5 S1

    NO, I wont! I will never be able to jump off a 60+ foot cliff or 100 foot jump, on my snowboard again!!! This has really messed up my life.. Snowboarding is everything to me. Ya, I will get better and I will be able to ride my snowboard again. But, I wont be able to do it as I use to. Wich is life altering. Sponsors and pay checks are now gone. I did labor for a excavating company and now I dont. I dont think I will ever be able to work like I did. I was making 31 dollars per hour and now I can hardly find a job offering 12 dollars per hour. And I deal with sciatic pain every day that is so bad that I am an absolute asshole to everyone around me. Maybe if so many people didnt MILK the system, people like me could get proper treatment and a decent settlement to gain a education doing something else that I am interested in. Maybe 4mm isnt much to you, but it surely is to me! I just want MY life back!!! Im not sure it will ever come close to how it was...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Typical Percentage Rating For Herniated L5 S1

    Unfortunately you have an unrealistic expectation of Workers Compensation...
    There is NO provision for ''pain and suffering'' or ''lost wagesl'', now or in the future...

    You are entitled to medical treatment for your injury, wage loss while you recover, and an "award"...such as is provided, for a resultant permant disability... THAT IS IT....

    Was 'snow boarding' your primary occupation..?
    If it was a 'hobby' and as you say ...'your life'... you will NOT be compensated for this.

    Maybe 4mm isnt much to you, but it surely is to me! I just want MY life back!!! Im not sure it will ever come close to how it was...

    At your age, you shouldn't have to deal with a 'mere' 4mm bulge... but many many people deal with this on a daily basis,.... it amounts of a 'soft tissue' injury, and there will be little compensation for this. In the long run, this will most likely 'heal' on it own, with your cooperation.

    Maybe 4mm isnt much to you, but it surely is to me! I just want MY life back!!!

    If you are experiencing the difficulties you present in your post, you should discuss with your PTP a referal to a psychologist for counseling... and maybe some anger management. This could be considered as a 'compensable consequence', and paid for by the IC...

    If you do nothing else while you are recovering from your injury, go to the Calif labor code and make yourself aware of what your entitlements are... and get the Nolo bood by Christopher Ball, and MAKE yourself knowledgable of the laws and how to work this to your benefit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Typical Percentage Rating For Herniated L5 S1

    Life, if you are not a surgical candidate, then as BvIA has pointed out, there are ways through the WC system to get the professional care you need to LEARN to adapt to your injury.

    Under the ACOEM Guidelines, Chapter 6 for Chronic Pain, the "multidisciplinary pain management approach" is the recommended course of treatment for chronic injuries with pain. THis is a team effort, integrating physical/occupational therapy, medical treatment and Counseling so that you can be taught the appropriate exercises and body mechanics so that you can SAFELY increase and improve function. Counseling will teach you healthier ways of adapting to your injury and managing your pain levels.

    The Counseling in multidisciplinary pain management isNOT thesame as "adding a psychiatric injury" to your existing WC claim a s a "compensable consequence", and accordingly, is far less intrusive on your privacy.

    HOWEVER, if YOU feel that you are becimind depressed, can't sleep, your appetite/weight is changing, you are irratable, can't concentrate, etc, then this might be a sign that you are in need of more comprehensive pschological intervention. You must discuss this with your primary treating physician so he can request authorization for a Pscych referral.

    If the Consult determines that you DO suffer from depression as a result of your injuries, and require further treatment then you might consider ammending your Application for Adjudication to include this as a compensable consequence.

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