Orthopedic work injuries that impact the physical well-being of an individual are common in environments that involve a lot of manual labor work. These injuries require the right orthopedic treatments to relieve pain and to recover. In high-risk scenarios, orthopedic work injuries can be life-threatening.
Orthopedic injuries are musculoskeletal injuries that affect different body parts like the knees, elbows, neck, arm, feet, shoulders, spine, hips, etc. due to forceful or excessive movement, heavy lifting or repetitive movement. Orthopedic injuries can cause substantial discomfort, pain, limited movement, and in some extreme situations, even disability. Generally, these injuries happen in the manufacturing sector, but they can also happen in the corporate sector and commercial establishments.
Most orthopedic work injuries occur in labor-intensive environments. However, these orthopedic injuries are not exclusively limited to labor-intensive environments. In fact, several orthopedic injuries occur at desk jobs as well. Where, individuals need to sit in a fixed upright position for an extended period, which may cause severe back pain over the course of a few months. In either case, the victim who is suffering through these conditions at the workplace is eligible for workers’ compensation.
Awareness about orthopedic injuries amongst employees is necessary to make an accurate claim within the allotted time from employers. With the right legal help, an individual can claim workers’ compensation benefits from the employer with less hassle.
Different Types of Orthopedic Work Injuries
In orthopedic injuries, the muscle and bones of an individual directly suffer the impact. Depending on the type of work, an individual might suffer from one or more of the following types of orthopedic injuries.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
In this orthopedic injury, the shoulder joint of the individual suffers a serious impact. It may result in broken bones or torn tendons too. The rotator cuff orthopedic injuries can leave the whole arm of the individual completely useless.
The cost of medical treatment for such orthopedic injuries can quickly go from $10,000 to over $100,000 depending on the severity of the orthopedic injury. The victim may also require regular orthopedic treatments from a reliable chiropractor to resume full function over the course of several months.
- Knee Injuries
If you face workplace knee injuries like sprains or tear of ligament due to excessive bending or heavy load lifting, you can claim compensation for the same.
- Arm and Wrist Injuries
Repetitive movements of the wrist or arm can result in injuries caused to high stress. Further tissue damage and arm/wrist fractures are also covered under orthopedic injuries for which workers’ compensation can be sought.
- Back Pain
Back pain is extremely common amongst individuals who need to sit in an upright position for extended periods throughout the day. Such workplace orthopedic injuries are common in the IT sector wherein the individual needs to sit at a desk for 8 to 10 hours every day in front of a computer screen. In such situations, the backbone of the individual takes severe damage over time. It is a progressive orthopedic injury that gets serious over the course of several years.
Back pain usually occurs in places where a comfortable seating position is unavailable to the employees. To prevent such mishaps, the employer must ensure that every employee has access to a comfortable and safe seating position. The employer can also conduct mandatory workplace exercises to help the employees relax and flex their muscles a few times a day.
- Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain and back pain usually occur together when an individual does not have access to a comfortable sitting position. Shoulder pain is common in individuals who need to work on a desktop/laptop for several hours every day. In such situations, the individual’s arms and shoulders stay in the same position for a considerable time throughout the day.
Shoulder pain can also occur due to a sudden jerk or a significant orthopedic injury. These types of incidents are common in places where much labor-intensive work is involved.
Common Causes of Orthopedic Work Injuries
There are several reasons why an individual might suffer from a workplace orthopedic injury. Some of these reasons include:
- Overexertion: Overexertion is common in work environments that involve much manual work for prolonged periods during the day. It is common in individuals with weaker immune systems and core strength. In such situations, individuals need to prepare their bodies to handle a considerable amount of physical stress effectively.
- Sudden Physical Jerking: Sometimes, sudden physical jerking can cause severe orthopedic injuries that require immediate medical attention. Such accidents can occur at both the desk jobs as well as the places that involve much manual labor. In such incidents, the individual suffers from an unforeseen load directly on the arms, back, or shoulders.
The impact of the sudden jerks can be minimized by improving one’s core physical strength, and with the use of the right safety gear. It is imperative for hard-working employees to focus on their physical and mental well-being, especially when they must deal with a lot of work pressure.
- Inaccessibility of the Right First Aid Care and Support: In a few cases, the inaccessibility of the right first aid care and support can convert a minor orthopedic injury into a major catastrophe. Therefore, it is extremely important that the employer puts all the right measures to tackle the minor orthopedic injuries, in place. Such first aid care can help the victim prevent the orthopedic injury from getting too serious until he/she gets the right medical attention from a professional.
Access to such first aid care tools is essential in places where the individual is dealing with a lot of labor-intensive tasks.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Due to an Orthopedic Injury?
If the fault of the employer is obvious in the accident, getting a huge settlement amount from the lawsuit will not take more than a couple of hours. In such cases, the best lawyers will use all the evidence against the employer to make sure that the victim gets a higher settlement amount.
The fault of the employer may not be direct in harming the individual. In fact, the employer can be held accountable for the orthopedic injury in case he/she fails to provide the right safety measures in the workplace. Therefore, employers need to ensure that their employees are happy and healthy in the workplace.
Factors that Govern the Total Amount of Settlement
- The Seriousness of the Orthopedic injury
The seriousness of the orthopedic injury is the most important component of the settlement. In fact, it is directly proportional to the amount of settlement one can expect from the lawsuit. The most serious orthopedic injuries that require a long-term hospitalization can help the victim claim a huge amount of settlement with the right legal help.
The settlement amount goes to a whole new level in situations when the orthopedic injury is visible to the jury. The judge, as well as the jury, usually sympathizes with the victim of the accident in such cases more. With the right medical proof from a certified doctor, the best workers’ compensation lawyers can leverage your position to get a huge settlement amount from the insurance company.
- Negotiation Rounds
The quality of the negotiation rounds matters a lot in the success of getting a huge settlement offer from the insurance company of the employer. A professional lawyer has the necessary expertise and experience to deal with the tough rounds of negotiations effectively and get the best settlement offer on the table.
The best lawyers know how to handle pressure very well and can correctly assess the amount of settlement that the victim deserves for the orthopedic injury. These lawyers will never settle for the lower amounts and will not be afraid to take the case to court in case they feel that the victim deserves a better offer. Negotiation is the one key thing that you cannot compromise on during the legal case. Therefore, you should always seek the right legal representation in such cases.
Benefits of Claiming Workers’ Compensation for an Orthopedic Work Injury
Orthopedic injuries affect the daily life and functioning of an employee. Some victims face consequences which might result in an inability to work – For Example – Nerve injuries. So, getting the claim for the same is important.
The cases of workers’ compensation for orthopedic injury are common. The claim amount depends on the size of the business, industry, location, etc. If you are suffering from a severe medical condition due to the negligence of your employer, the workers’ compensation settlement amount for orthopedic injuries will help you due to the below-mentioned benefits.
- Provides the Necessary Financial Coverage for Medical Treatments
In the most severe medical conditions, the hospital bills for the treatment can easily threaten the life savings of an individual. In such conditions, you need the right financial cover for medical treatments. The workers’ compensation will help you take care of all the medical invoices. It will not only help you pay the critical invoices on time but also, help you pay for all the physical therapy sessions that you may need to resume a normal life.
- Offers Compensation for Loss of Pay
An important component of the workers’ compensation settlement is the loss of pay. If you are hospitalized during the medical treatment, it is not possible for you to resume normal work. For a few individuals with severe medical complications, this rest period may extend up to several months at a stretch. In such conditions, the settlement amount will take care of the regular pay for a salaried individual.
This pay will help the family of the salaried individual lead a normal life when he/she is resting due to the medical orthopedic injury.
- Gives the Necessary Financial Cushion to Resume a Normal Life
The main reason why you should pursue the workers’ compensation settlement amount is that it helps you resume a normal lifestyle after a major orthopedic injury. Both you and your family can continue living the same lifestyle while you recover from the orthopedic injury caused in the workplace. This financial cushion will prevent any significant damage to your life’s savings.
Simple 8-Step Process to Claim the Settlement for Orthopedic Work Injuries
If you have been a part of a recent workplace orthopedic injury, you need to take certain steps to ensure that you get the best settlement offers. You can take the following steps to get the best workers’ compensation settlement from the lawsuit filed against the employer.
- Get a Complete Medical Checkup Conducted
Before everything else, you should get the necessary medical treatment and checkup conducted by a certified physician. Ideally, you should not ignore any orthopedic injury as a minor one and take the necessary precautions by getting the treatment.
After the complete medical checkup, the physician will give you a comprehensive report on your medical condition and devise ways to recover quickly. You can file these reports during the claim process to get a better settlement offer. The top legal firms will help you get all the necessary medical reports from a certified physician at a discounted price.
- File for a Claim with the Employer
After getting the complete medical reports, it is time to approach your employer directly. If you think that your employer is friendly, considerate, and can help you in such situations, you can feel free to talk to him/her. However, if you feel that things might turn more complicated with a direct conversation, it is a better idea to get legal help directly.
In some cases where the employer is considerate and willing to help, you don’t need to file a lawsuit against him/her. Instead, the employer will take the necessary steps to provide you with the financial cushion for handling the medical treatments in an organized fashion.
- Contact the Workers Compensation Attorney for Orthopedic Injuries
If you think that things might turn sour if you directly talk to your employer, it is a good idea to involve legal support. The lawyer will guide you with the right ways you can take the conversation up with your employer. In such cases, the expert legal help will also help you take precautions for when things don’t turn out to be as planned.
The best lawyers will set a level playing field for you and your employer to have a good conversation for the settlement. In most cases where the employers are considerate, and they know their fault, they will take the corrective measures to provide compensation without a lawsuit.
- File a Lawsuit
If talking directly to your employer does not work out, you need to file a lawsuit against him/her to claim the settlement amount. The best lawyers will do everything in their power to help you claim the deserved settlement amount quickly. They will take care of the entire paperwork necessary for the lawsuit filing purposes.
After filing the lawsuit, you can wait for the legal defense team of the employer to respond back with a settlement offer. In the most severe orthopedic injury cases, the defense counsel will want to settle the case out of the court. In such cases, the defense counsel is well aware of the consequences of taking the case to court and losing.
- Collect the Right Evidence
Your lawsuit is as strong as the quality of the evidence that you collect against the employer. In most cases, the lawyer will help you with the evidence collection process. The lawyer will leverage its reach to get CCTV footage of the incidents that led up to the accident. He/she will also get statements from your co-workers and witnesses to strengthen the case further.
Both the quality as well as quantity of evidence that your lawyer collects matters a lot in the lawsuit. The best evidence gets the best settlement offer.
- Ask for a Settlement Amount
Ideally, all the conversations that you have with your employer or the defense counsel from here on should be under the supervision of your lawyer. Anything that you say to these people can be used against you during the trial. So, it is always safe to have your lawyer present in the room while talking about the total settlement amount.
Ideally, the insurance company of the employer will try and contact you with a settlement offer if you have a strong case. In other cases, your lawyer will need to approach the insurance agency to ask for a settlement amount. The best part about hiring a professional lawyer is that you will never go wrong with the amount that you ask. The best lawyers are well aware of all the techniques to calculate the deserved settlement amount accurately.
- Participate in the Negotiation Rounds
You should participate in the negotiations rounds that occur between your lawyer and the defense counsel. Participating in these rounds will give you a great insight into the lawsuit. It will also help you prepare for the trial in case the defendant does not agree on settling the case out of the court.
Never reveal your true emotions in the meeting and always be the silent observer. In such cases, you should let your lawyer handle all the conversations effectively. The lawyers are well-versed with the legal terminologies and all the ways in which the defense may try to pressure you. If you wish to convey anything to the defense counsel, you should always do it through your lawyer.
- Accept the Final Settlement Offer
In the case where you have a strong lawsuit and multiple high-quality pieces of evidence against the employer, the insurance company will want to settle the case outside the court. In such cases, your lawyer can leverage the upper hand and ask for a huge settlement amount. You and your lawyer can have a discussion on the agreement in the absence of the defense counsel to decide if you should or should not accept the offer.
Once the offer seems satisfactory, your lawyer will suggest that you accept it. In such situations, you should trust the lawyer and accept the settlement offer.
Reasons Why Your Claim May be Denied
In a few cases, the victim may not be able to build a strong case against the employer to get the workers’ compensation settlement amount. Here, the victim of the accident might be directly at fault for the orthopedic injury. The negligence at the victim’s end can be the root cause of the accident. In such cases, the individual needs to reassess the entire situation with the help of a professional lawyer to see if he/she can really sue the employer.
Ideally, the victim should share all the events leading up to the orthopedic injury candidly with his/her lawyer to get valuable feedback. In such cases, the defense counsel representing the case from the employer’s end might turn the entire case against the victim and not pay a single dime in the final settlement. The professional lawyers see such complicated cases with scrutiny and make sure that the victim has a solid case against the employer before moving forward.
Other common reasons why your case may be denied include:
- Not filing the case in a timely fashion
- Lack of evidence
- The defense proves that your injury is not workplace related
What to Do If the Claim is not Accepted?
If your injury claim is denied, you need to approach a reliable legal firm as soon as possible to file an appeal. These firms can provide you the necessary legal assistance to take the case to court. The experienced workplace compensation lawyers can weave a convincing story around your plight and make sure that you get the best deal on the table. They will ensure that the judge and the jury rule in your favor.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Near Me
Getting the right treatment from a certified physician is extremely important if you sustain a severe orthopedic injury. This medical treatment can easily hurt your lifestyle and savings. Therefore, you need to stay prepared for the worst-case scenario and get the right compensation amount from your employer to resume a normal lifestyle.
Our Orange County Workers Compensation Lawyer has the proven expertise in handling workers’ compensation cases and can file a lawsuit against your employer to get you the best settlement offers. We can strengthen your lawsuit from the ground up by presenting a convincing argument backed by evidences to the jury if the lawsuit goes to trial. Our lawyers can also conduct negotiations on your behalf to get the best settlement offer on the table.
Therefore, if you are currently dealing with a workers’ compensation case, get help from a reliable legal firm right away by calling 562-485-9694 today!