It's a little like "Why won't my car start?" More facts matter, and comprehensive medical diagnoses are useful. An Attorney can assist you with that, but only if you sit down and give him good information and some reports/findings to review.
We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.
Lumbar radiculopathy (join the club!) means that you have back issues causing pain or numbness down one or both legs. This is commonly caused by "pinched" nerves as a result of bulging or herniated discs.
This diagnosis does not mean much without a ton more information.
One can have radiculopathy, take some anti-inflammatory and do some therapy and be "good to go" within weeks. Other times, surgery may be required. Still other times, the nerve damage may remain permanently.
Depending on a zillion different factors, such as what you do for a living (are you a librarian or a pipefitter?), your age, your doctor, your injury, and whether you've had prior injuries to this area of your body, you may be determined to be permanently disabled or you may be returned to work without restrictions, or somewhere in between.
First things first, if you don't have a lawyer, get one now. An injury this serious needs to be taken seriously. Especially, if you are throwing around terms such as "permanent disability" on the Internet without really understanding how WC works.
Workers' compensation has a goal of returning all able-bodied workers back to work. In the meantime, it pays for time off while you are injured (TTD) and for your medical and rehab treatment. In addition, you are entitled to a lump sum permanency settlement when you are done, based upon the severity and permanent nature of your injury. Basically, if you are a police officer and break your leg, you can go back to being a police officer but you'll get some money. If you are an office worker with the same injury, the injury won't affect your work as much and you'll probably get less money.
If you can't return to work, you may qualify for either job retraining, a wage differential, or a permanent total (PTD) qualification. Only very severe situations end up as permanent totals.
Focus on your health and medical treatment and do this by obtaining a qualified workers' comp lawyer for your representative. He or she can probably explain much more than I can in a public forum with limited space.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.
You have an extremely serious injury and you could really benefit from the guidance of an experienced workers compensation attorney. Please do yourself a favor and consult with one as soon as possible. Speak with more than one attorney and make certain that whomever you choose has the time, ability, and patience to answer all of the questions which you may have. Good luck.
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