Work-Related Fractures: When Broken Bones Really Hurt You
On a less than subtle twist on the childhood rhyme, you may find truth. Broken bones can really hurt you. Meanwhile, there’s a chance that you’ve suffered a work-related fracture. Unfortunately, just about every type of employee is at risk.
It’s not like there are any current statistics on the incidence of bone fractures in the workplace. In part, that may be due to some misconceptions as far as OSHA’s reporting requirements. Some employers fail to consider bone fractures as noteworthy injuries. Nevertheless, the government clearly recognizes fractured or cracked bones as significant. If you’ve broken one of the bones in your upper or lower extremity, you’ll likely agree.
You might look for comradery in some numbers, but you have more important things to worry about. First, there’s the issue of pain. Without question, a fractured wrist or a broken leg can make you see stars. Meanwhile, the mere vision of a bone piercing through your skin just makes things worse. Not only do you dread the thought of surgical intervention, but you wonder if you’ll ever receive full function of the injured limb.
Given these points, it’s hard to look for good news. With few exceptions, getting hurt on the job entitles the injured employee to workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, workers’ comp is the ultimate in no-fault insurance. For example, if you fall because the floor was slippery at work, you don’t have to prove it was anyone’s fault.
Bone Fractures in the Workplace
More than likely, you already know how easy it is to break a bone. It could be as simple as a slip, trip, or fall accident on the steps at work. Meanwhile, automobile accidents account for some bone fractures. Here are some more examples of workplace accidents that have actually occurred:
- Tractor trailer driver broke femur (thigh bone) when truck slid on ice and turned over
- Construction worker’s foot fractured as a result of heavy tool falling on it
- Machine operator’s arm broke when equipment malfunctioned
- Warehouse worker suffered foot stress fracture directly related to carrying and lifting heavy items
- Firefighter fell off ladder and broke his hip
In some of these cases, it may be that a third party bears some liability for the workplace accident. For example, the machine operator may be able to pursue a negligence claim against the equipment manufacturer. However, workers’ compensation insurance is primary.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
So, what benefits are you entitled to if you are hurt on the job? As explained here, they are broken down as follows:
- Medical care to treat your injury.
- Temporary disability benefits while the authorized doctor excuses you from returning to work.
- Partial permanent disability injury if you lose some, but not all ability to return to work on a permanent basis.
- Total and full permanent disability if you are unable to return to any employment because of your injuries.
In some cases, the workers’ compensation carrier voluntarily affords any number of these benefits. However, you should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney whenever you suffer injuries in a workplace accident.
Hurt at Work?
An on the job injury can be life-changing. Whether you broke bones or were otherwise hurt, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo to set up an appointment. We’ll work hard to advocate for you!