Workplaces are supposed to be safe and injury-free. Too often, though, repetitive movements, falls, and sudden stress can lead to a job-related orthopedic injury. When such an accident – or the cumulative impact of your working conditions – leaves you unable to work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Since orthopedic injuries are also often caused by active lifestyles and aging, employers often fight to have workers’ comp claims denied.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Cullotta Bravo Law can assess your claim and help you appeal denied workplace injury claims. We know what information is relevant to demonstrate that your injuries stem from the workplace. Allow us to line up a second medical evaluation to supplement your existing medical records, if necessary. We’ll fight for you to receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits provided under Illinois law.
Common Orthopedic Injuries in the Workplace
Many of the most common orthopedic injuries stem from repetitive motions like bending, lifting, reaching, twisting, pushing, and pulling. Some are caused by sudden trauma like falling, slipping, or being struck by an object. Here are a few of the most common types of orthopedic injuries suffered in the workplace:
- Broken wrist – Workers sometimes suffer broken wrists as they reach out to break a fall. Many times, surgery is necessary to stabilize the small bones.
- Shoulder dislocations – A sudden movement can wrench a person’s upper arm bone out of the shoulder socket. This can lead to major nerve and tissue damage, and make future dislocations more likely.
- Stress fractures – These small cracks in the bone are often caused by repetitive motion. They often occur in the ankles and feet of workers who stand to perform their duties. Surgery is often necessary to ensure maximum healing.
- Sprains – These occur when joints are suddenly twisted or turned. Ligaments may become strained or torn. Many sprains heal with rest, compression, and ice, but torn ligaments warrant surgery.
- ACL tear – The anterior cruciate ligament connects your shin to your thigh. It’s essential for knee stabilization. After an ACL tear, standing becomes painful if not impossible. Reconstruction surgery is often required.
- Plantar fasciitis – Too much stress on the plantar fascia can lead to swelling and stabbing pain in the foot. This is common among people who spend their days on their feet. Decreased activity can help, but left untreated, plantar fasciitis can cause chronic heel issues.
These are far from the only kinds of orthopedic injuries associated with the workplace. By understanding the connection between your daily duties and the injuries you sustained, you better the odds of a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Orthopedic Injuries
If you’re injured at work, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. A doctor can assess your condition, diagnose any issues, and help you determine the cause of your injury. Next, be sure to notify your employer. You have 45 days from the date of your injury to report it to your employer. It’s best to do so in writing, so you have documentation of your notification on record.
Upon notification of your injury, your employer must provide you with a list of approved medical professionals to treat you. Your employer should also inform their workers’ compensation insurance provider of your injury. Employers have 14 days to accept or deny an injury claim if the injury has caused you to miss three or more work days. Then, the employer has 30 days to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Once approved for workers’ compensation, you may be eligible for full coverage of medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, and in some cases, permanent disability benefits.
Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Cullotta Bravo Law can ensure you receive the benefits you’re owed. Allow our team to review the circumstances that led to your orthopedic injury and see that your application documents your eligibility for benefits. When necessary, we can refer you to an orthopedist for a second opinion. By using our knowledge of the Illinois workers’ compensation system, we can help you identify the connection between your workplace activity and your injury. Call 630-898-7800 to schedule your consultation now.