Visitor Question

Herniated Disk Workmans Compensation Case…

Submitted By: Don (Omaha, Nebraska)

I was at work lifting two different die sections, moving them from one cart to another cart. While setting the second die section down I felt excruciating pain in my lower back and right butt.

I now have the L5 disc herniated which will need surgery. In the past I had problems with the same disc but nothing to the degree I have now. I have trouble sleeping and it’s painful during almost everything I do. I live by myself and have no one to help me do anything which makes it very painful and difficult.

The surgeon who is performing the operation told me it should relieve the shooting pains in my left leg but I will probably have lower back pain the rest of my life, and most likely won’t be able to do my job.

This has been an emotional battle in so many ways. There is a lot more I could tell you that this has cost me but I am trying to keep it short for an estimate of what my settlement will be, if any? As far as wages go I make $22.29 per hour. Also, this happened on March 25th, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. Thanks for your help.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Don,

Sorry to hear about your back. Backs are always tricky and even with the best intended surgeries sometimes they just stay hurt.

You have inquired about the settlement you may receive. Settlements can differ greatly depending the nature of one’s employment. If your employer had Workmans Compensation your settlement will be limited to the guidelines set out by the Workmans Compensation Act of Nebraska. Because you didn’t mention Workmans Compensation we will presume your employer did not have it.

Presuming your employer had some sort of liability insurance you can hope to recover the amounts you have paid for your medical bills to date. We say “hope” because you can be confident as soon as the insurance company learns of your “pre-existing injury” they will balk at paying some, if not all of the medical bills identified as being related to your back injury.

Insurance companies do not like letting go of their money. When an injured person has a pre-existing injury which has been worsened while performing work related duties you can be assured the insurance company’s response will be along the following lines:

“We are sorry to hear about what you have called an on-the-job injury. Because you had a pre-existing injury on the same area of your body we cannot take responsibility for the aggravation of that injury. If you can provide medical proof that can identify with “a degree of medical certainty” that your new back injury is separate and apart from your pre-existing injury, or can quantify with the same degree of medical certainty the degree of pain caused by the re-injury we will discuss appropriate compensation.”

The way settlements are arrived at is by taking all your medical bills and multiplying them by three. Add to that number your lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses such as back braces, bandages, and medicine. That purpose of multiplying by three is to include your present and future pain and suffering.

Because your case involves a pre-existing injury you would be well served by visiting with a reputable and skilled Personal Injury Attorney.

Learn more here: Workers’ Comp and Pre-existing Conditions

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Herniated Disk Workmans Compensation Case…

  1. Tom says:

    Three plates were put in my neck in my surgery on December 3rd. I’m a lot worse off now than I was when it first happened. They let the employee fight me for two years over this.

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