If you have suffered a work-related slipped disc, bulging disc, or ruptured disc, then you may have a workers' compensation claim through the workers’ compensation scheme in your state or territory.
Here we talk you through what work-related bulging discs are, if you are eligible for a claim and how we can help you.
What is a bulging disc?
Your spine has 23 discs made of fibrocartilage and filled with a ‘gel’ like fluid. They sit between the vertebrae and act as a ‘cushion’ to absorb pressure. Normal wear and tear with age or an injury can cause discs to protrude from between the vertebrae and touch a nerve. When this happens, it’s called a bulging disc. They’re also referred to as slipped discs, herniated discs, ruptured discs and prolapsed discs.
Symptoms of a bulging disc
The main symptom of a bulging disc is spine, back or neck pain. The severity and location of your pain will depend on which disc is bulging. You can also experience nerve pain if the bulging disc presses on a nerve. This can feel like a stabbing pain, numbness or an electric tingling along the nerve path. If the bulging disc presses on your sciatic nerve which runs from your lower back down the back of your leg, you could experience sciatica.
Bulging disc pain can be debilitating and impact your capacity to carry out your daily and work activities. If your bulging disc was caused by a work-related injury, we can help you to seek the compensation you’re entitled to.
When to get medical help
It’s important to see your doctor if your back or neck pain interferes with your daily activities and doesn’t improve, particularly if your pain gets worse at night.
Go to emergency if you’re also experiencing:
Problems moving your limbs
Numbness in your limbs
Trouble controlling your bladder or bowel
Work-related bulging disc injuries
The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures indicate that ‘lifting, pushing, pulling or bending’ injuries are the most common work-related injury.
Common causes of work-related back injuries
Common causes of work-related back injuries include single incident and incremental incidents that build up over time, leading to a bulging disc. Examples include:
Falling, slipping or tripping
Body stress through lifting, pushing, pulling or bending
Repetitive movements, including standing or sitting for prolonged periods
A single traumatic injury such as a work-related motor vehicle accident
How is a bulging disc diagnosed?
Your bulging disc injury must be confirmed by your doctor, most likely by an imaging test such as an MRI, CT scan or X-ray.
Are you eligible for workers' compensation for a bulging disc injury?
Spine and back injuries that occur at work and involve a slipped or bulging disc can be very serious. If your day-to-day activities or your ability to return to your pre-injury work are affected you may be eligible for a bulging disc compensation payout or payment.
We recommend seeking legal assistance as soon as possible following your bulging disc injury so that you claim within strict time limits set by workers’ compensation laws.
What workers’ compensation for back injuries could you claim?
The amount of workers’ compensation for back injuries varies depending on several factors, including:
The circumstances of your work-related injury leading to a bulging disc
Whether you had any responsibility for the work-related injury
The severity of your injury and its impact on your life and work
The financial impact of your injury
Workers’ compensation for back injuries including a bulging disc could include:
Loss of income
Medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses for your back injury and any subsequent psychological injuries
Cost of travel for treatment
Home care, including nursing
Return to work services such as education and retraining
What other types of compensation could you be entitled to?
Depending on the circumstances and severity of your injury, you may be entitled to other forms of bulging discs compensation payouts in Australia.
Permanent impairment benefit claim
You may be entitled to make a permanent impairment benefit claim, if your work-related bulging disc injury has left you with a permanent impairment and you can’t return to work. This form of compensation is a lump sum payment.
Superannuation and Disability Insurance
If you can’t work because of your bulging disc injury, you might be entitled to benefits through your superannuation or other insurance policies. We can make a quick, obligation-free analysis of your situation to determine your rights and ability to make a claim. Learn more about Superannuation and Disability Insurance Claims.
Common law damages claim
If your back injury meets the legal definition of ‘serious’ and was caused by your employer or a colleague, you may be able to claim common law damages, which are awarded in a lump sum to cover pain, suffering and financial loss.
Shine Lawyers are experts in back injury compensation claims and neck injury compensation claims. We can advise you of your legal options and start a compensation claim on your behalf. We can help you to understand your rights and access the compensation you’re entitled to on a No Win, No Fee* basis, so you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket legal expenses. Contact us for an obligation-free consultation today.