Fractures, more commonly known as broken bones, are more common in the workplace than you might realize. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 85,710 cases in which injured employees lost work days due to fractures in one recent year.
Workers Most at Risk for Fractures
It probably won’t come as a surprise that some industries have more than their share of on-the-job fractures. Some of the most dangerous industries for fracture injuries include:
- Transportation and Warehousing
- Retail Trade
However, a broken bone can occur in almost any environment. For example, in the same year referenced above, 40 legal industry workers lost work time due to fractures that occurred on the job. So did 50 people working in the accounting and tax preparation industry and another 70 in call centers.
It’s important to note that not all broken bones will result in lost work time. That depends in part on the seriousness of the injury, and in part on the job. So, the actual annual number of workplace fractures is somewhat higher. Though some fractures occur in isolation, they are also often coupled with other injuries. For example, a fall that results in a broken bone may also cause a head injury. Or, a crush injury may break a bone, but also damage muscle, tendons, and other tissue.
How Serious are Workplace Fractures?
The seriousness of a workplace fracture and how such injuries are treated depends on a variety of factors. Depending on the bone that is broken, how the injury occurred, and other variables, treatment may be as simple as using a cast or splint and pain medication while the fracture heals.
However, some fractures are much more serious, and may require more extensive or additional treatment such as:
- Physical Therapy
While most people who suffer fractures fully recover and regain full or very near to full functionality, there are exceptions. These depend in part on the seriousness of the break and on the quality of treatment following the injury. However, certain parts of the body are more vulnerable to lasting injury than others. For example, one study showed that a significant percentage of workers who fractured their ankles had difficulty returning to work, and in some cases ended up on disability.
It’s important to keep in mind that fracture injuries can be serious and have lasting consequences, and to be aware that it isn’t always immediately clear how serious a break maybe or whether that break will heal completely. Workers’ compensation insurance companies know this, and may attempt to close out a claim with a lump-sum settlement quickly.
A quick settlement with cash up front may be appealing, especially if you have missed work time. However, it is very important to thoroughly understand what you are being offered and what you are agreeing to. For example, a final settlement often means that the workers’ compensation carrier will not pay for any future medical expenses associated with the injury. So, for example, if the injury does not heal and surgery is later required, you would likely be responsible for those costs yourself.
That presents a financial problem, but it may present an even more serious one. Depending on your medical insurance coverage and your available funds, you may find yourself unable to secure necessary medical treatment. Or, you may end up waiting longer than recommended for treatment, potentially suffering pain and limitations during the delay or even worsening your condition.
Talk to a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Some simple fractures heal relatively quickly with little treatment. Depending on your job, they may result in little or no lost work time. But, other fractures are much more serious. Some may even permanently impact your ability to work in your chosen field. So, it is very important to fully understand the seriousness of your injury and what it will cost you before accepting a workers’ compensation settlement.
Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation carrier isn’t necessarily working in your best interests. It is in their best interest to settle the claim and control future costs. But, that can leave you without the medical care and replacement income you need in the future.
The best way to protect yourself is to be fully informed. One way to get accurate information about your rights and the impact of any settlement offered is to talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Attorney Kevin P. Broderick understands how important that knowledge is, and offers free consultations. You can schedule yours right now by calling 978-459-1792 or filling out the contact form on this site.
Have you been injured?
Let Attorney Kevin Broderick answer your questions and evaluate your personal injury or vehicle accident case for free!
CALL TODAY 978-459-3085
Kevin Broderick Law serves clients in Massachusetts and
Areas of service in
Areas of Service in
The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.