Back Injury Compensation Calculator

Use this free settlement calculator tool to learn how much your back injury case could be worth.

You’ve had a back injury – now what?

Back pain is an injury that can be absolutely debilitating and can cause an extreme negative impact on someone’s quality of life. Car accidents, work accidents, sports injuries and falls are common causes of severe back pain.

Back pain frequently requires people to miss work (or work in pain, which will only worsen the injury) or go to the doctor, and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. 

If you’ve been injured, our back injury calculator can help you estimate the amount of financial compensation you could be due for your injury, pain and suffering. An attorney can help you determine a more precise calculation of owed compensation, but our calculator can give a starting point for discussions with a qualified attorney. 

Types of back injuries

Your back is made of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident. The lower back is the most common site of back injuries and back pain. Common back injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Herniated disks
  • Fractured (broken) vertebrae

These injuries can cause pain and limit your movement. Treatments vary but might include medicines, icing, bed rest, physical therapy, or surgery. You might be able to prevent some back injuries by maintaining a healthy weight, lifting objects with your legs, and using lower-back support when you sit.

Sprains and strains

A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Falling, twisting, or getting hit can all cause a sprain. Ankle and wrist sprains are common. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and being unable to move your joint. You might feel a pop or tear when the injury happens.

A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone. Twisting or pulling these tissues can cause a strain. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over time. Back and hamstring muscle strains are common. Many people get strains playing sports. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and trouble moving the muscle.

At first, treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and medicines. Later treatment might include exercise and physical therapy.

Herniated disks

Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. As you age, the disks break down or degenerate. As they do, they lose their cushioning ability. This can lead to pain if the back is stressed.

A herniated disk is a disk that ruptures. This allows the jelly-like center of the disk to leak, irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause sciatica or back pain.

Your doctor will diagnose a herniated disk with a physical exam and, sometimes, imaging tests. With treatment, most people recover. Treatments include rest, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Fractured (broken) vertebrae

A fracture is a break, usually in a bone. Fractures commonly happen because of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Other causes are low bone density and osteoporosis, which cause weakening of the bones. Overuse can cause stress fractures, which are very small cracks in the bone.

Symptoms of a fracture are

  • Intense pain
  • Deformity – the limb looks out of place
  • Swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injury
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Problems moving a limb

You need to get medical care right away for any fracture. An X-ray can tell if your bone is broken. You may need to wear a cast or splint. Sometimes you need surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place.

How common are back injuries?

Low back pain is extremely common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, low back pain causes more disability around the world than any other condition. In one study, it was the most common type of pain reported, with 25% of U.S. adults reporting having suffered from low back pain within the past three months.

Low back pain is often associated with repetitive motions like lifting heavy objects or doing desk work for long periods of time. This could be due to a previous injury or a lack of flexibility. Lifting heavy objects improperly can also lead to strained muscles and sprains. Lifting too quickly or bending incorrectly could also lead to strains and sprains. You can prevent these types of injuries from occurring by properly performing your daily activities and exercises as recommended by your doctor.

These kinds of injuries commonly occur in the workplace, meaning you may be entitled to a worker’s compensation claim, which we’ll discuss more below.

What to do if you have a back injury

It’s important to visit a doctor if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, even if the injury isn’t very severe. Because back sprains and strains are often related to physical exertion, it’s important to be checked out right away. The sooner a doctor determines a problem, the faster the patient can start enjoying the benefits of treatment. Sometimes the doctor will recommend rest, ice, heat, or anti-inflammatory medication. If these methods don’t reduce the pain, patients may need to see a doctor for an evaluation and possible surgery.

Common procedures used by doctors to diagnose and treat back injuries:

  • X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans, which show a visual image of the injury
  • Stress tests, which involves sitting on a stability ball or other type of stability chair and holding your breath.
  • Non-invasive tests like nerve pressure tests or an MRI to check for fractures scan.
  • If there is nerve damage, the doctor will use a procedure called arthroscopy. 

Worker’s Compensation

If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to Worker’s Compensation. 

The first step is to identify whether your employer is a federal, state or private employer, one of several specific groups covered by federal worker’s compensation laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers disability compensation programs which provides help to federal workers (or their dependents) and other specific groups who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease. 

Individuals injured on the job while employed by private companies or state and local government agencies should contact their state workers’ compensation board.

A qualified attorney can be essential in helping you navigate a worker’s compensation claim. 

How much can I expect from a back injury settlement? 

The wide range of potential back injuries makes it difficult to give a specific amount, but like all injuries, there are common factors in the compensation you may be owed. 

Back injuries are common in personal injury cases that arise from car accidents or slip-and-fall cases. The settlement amount can only be determined on a case-by-case basis, but in general, injury claims are based on a person’s economic and non-economic losses. 

Economic damages

Economic damages are the actual financial losses stemming from an injury. Some examples of economic damages are: 

  • Past medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity

Non-Economic damages

These damages, sometimes called general damages, cover losses that aren’t easy to estimate with a dollar figure. These include: 

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

These non-economic damages can come with a damage multiplier (for example, between 1.5 and 5) based on the seriousness of the injury. 

In rare cases, punitive damages may be assessed in particularly egregious personal injury cases, where the incident arises from more than just negligence. 

Two factors that can reduce your back injury compensation are contributory negligence, where you share some of the blame for the injury, and failure to mitigate damages, which means you are required to take reasonable steps after your injury (such as taking your prescribed medication as the doctor orders, or resting or wearing a brace for the appropriate length of time.)

What is my next step in seeking back injury financial compensation?

Your injury can be a debilitating experience, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your hopes and dreams. A qualified attorney can make sure you are appropriately compensated for your injury.

Don’t forget that even if you are able to move around now, with all your pain and suffering behind you, there is still a chance that you could experience further back injuries in the future. This is why it is important to see what our back injury compensation calculator can do for you today. 

Using the back injury calculator

It is important to remember that the results of this calculator do not take into consideration any current or previous medical treatments you may have received. The back injury compensation calculator is a useful aid, but it cannot provide legal or financial advice. It is not intended to replace the services of a qualified attorney. Before proceeding with making a claim, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer who can advise you on your options. With their help and advice, you can successfully make a claim for a back injury compensation.