Question Detail: I was injured while employed. I was terminated and I am on limited work by my doctor. I have a spinal injury that will require surgery.
Answer: If you need further surgery then you are not ready to settle your case, but with that in mind let me answer your question.
Yes you can file a workers' compensation claim and seek an appropriate award for industrial disability aka a loss of earning capacity. To prove loss of earning capacity you will probably require a functional capacity evaluation (FCE), an independent medical examination (IME) and a vocational assessment to fully develop the evidence to prove your case. Every year we arrange for many of these types of expert evaluations along with the expert reports to prove our clients' cases. None of this is straightforward or easily arranged.
I have done this long enough to know the difference between a large and small award case; and yours is more than likely a large award case. These are important cases that have a lot of value for our clients and so long as they are handled properly, they will provide reasonable compensation to the injury worker, such as you. You should not be in any rush to settle because money is not all you need. You first need the appropriate medical care. First care and then settle, not the other way around.
I have assigned four videos to this post and you should watch them all. Each will teach you something about how these claims work. Good luck and if we can be of assistance give us a call.