How much compensation for an annular tear at work can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your injury. Read on for more information about annular tears and the workers' compensation benefits for which you may be eligible.
What are annular tears?
Annular tears are injuries to the intervertebral discs of the neck and back. These tears or rips occur in the exterior of the disc and can be attributed to general aging, everyday activity or trauma. For example, overuse at work or a sudden accident can cause these injuries. Annular tears can cause extreme pain and discomfort.
How do I know what caused my annular tear?
Because some annular tears can be linked to the natural aging process, it is important that you discuss your particular symptoms and work activities with your doctor to help determine if your injury could be work-related. The following list of types of annular tears might help you prepare for any conversations about your injury. The nature of the annular tear and what layers of the disc it affects can help tell your doctor what type of tear you’re experiencing and what the causes might be.
- Concentric tears: This type of tear is typically caused by injury. It appears between the annulus fibrosus layers circumferentially.
- Rim lesion: Common causes for rim lesions include injury and bone spurs. They occur in the outer layers of the discs.
- Radial tears: This type of tear is often attributed to aging and begins in the center of the disc and extends through the outer layers. If you have a radial tear, ask your doctor if this could be the result of repetitive work-related activities.
How do I know if I’m eligible for workers' compensation benefits?
You must be able to prove an injury that is related to your work duties or environment to be considered for workers' compensation benefits. An injury, for these purposes, is defined by the Iowa Administrative Code as “any health impairment other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues.”
In the case of annular tears, it is important to be able to prove that the natural aging process is not the cause of your injury when seeking benefits.
In addition, you must be an employee working in Iowa to qualify for benefits. If you are a contracted proprietor who is not classified as an employee, you may not be eligible for workers' compensation.
Figuring Out How Much Compensation for an Annular Tear
Workers' compensation benefits include compensation for the following benefits.
- Medical benefits: Your medical care and treatments should be covered by workers' compensation. This benefit includes reasonable lost wages for attending treatments or therapies as well as necessary expenses for transportation.
- Disability benefits: Injured or disabled Iowa workers are entitled to up to 80 percent of weekly spendable earnings in disability benefits. The maximum weekly compensation amount is $1,419.00 for permanent partial disability (PPD), or $1,543.00 for temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) or during a healing period (HP). Death benefits are also capped at $1,543.00 per week.
Call Walker, Billingsley & Bair
If you’re suffering from annular tears and you believe it is a result of your work activities or an injury you sustained on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help figure out how much compensation for an annular tear, handle any disputes, and appeal a denied claim. Call us today at (888) 435-9886 to set up a free consultation in Des Moines.