Workers compensation is a different animal from a tort claim and you cannot sue your employer in tort because the workers compensation laws prevent it. The value of a workers compensation claim depends on your permanent disability rating, since you are not entitled to pain and suffering or any lump sum payment without a permanent disability. All you are entitled to without a permanent disability rating is payment for the time you are not able to work and payment of your medical bills and costs. If you get a permanent disability rating then based on that rating you would be entitled to benefits based on a total number of weeks, which typically for a 100% disability is 5-10 years of benefits at 66 2/3% of your base pay. However, there are multiple factors such as your current age, your work expectancy time and the severity of the 100% disability that play on that decision as well.
It is not a simple calculation of just saying, "back injury, $20,000" it requires sitting down looking at the medical reports and your age and life expectancy and a host of other factors and when you get to the point where the doctor is telling you that there will be some permanent disability, you need to get to a local workers compensation attorney so they can make a proper valuation.
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