Work-related injuries can take many different forms. They can involve slips and falls, burns, cuts, and nerve damage. Many times, the injury can result in a broken bone which can not only be very painful for the employee but can also be crippling and prevent him or her from performing the employee’s job.
What happens in these situations when it comes to broken ankles and workers’ compensation? Is an attorney needed, or can the employee handle the matter independently without counsel? We have asked a legal expert, attorney Alaina Sullivan, about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance offered through an employer that compensates employees who are injured at work, requiring medical assistance and extended time off of work for recovery due to the work-related injury.
If the employee files for workers’ compensation, he or she waives his or her right to pursue a personal injury claim against the employer. Workers’ compensation will cover medical expenses related to the injury, lost injury, cost of re-training and even survivor benefits if the employee was killed in the accident.
Ankle Injuries at Work
Ankle injuries can vary in terms of severity. The official location of the ankle is where the tibia meets the fibula lower leg bone, attaching to the talus foot bone with ligaments. Injuries can occur at any of these locations. They can include a strain, sprain or fracture.
Some injuries also involve the ligaments being stretched too far resulting in a strain or even a complete tear Not having the ability to put any weight on someone’s foot through the ankle can essentially make a person incapable of doing much, restricting his or her mobility and ability to perform even the most basic of tasks.
Breaks or fractures in the ankle can require a significant length of time to recover and heal. They are often the focus of many workers’ compensation claims.
Consequences of Ankle Injuries
Think about how often an individual uses his or her foot to get from point A to point B. The ankle is the part of the body that allows someone to walk or even stand, and not being able to put any weight on that part of the body can hinder an individual from performing basic tasks at home or work.
Further, the medical costs associated with an ankle injury can be high including surgery, x-rays, rehabilitation or physical therapy. The injury can take months to heal and the post-recovery can take even longer if physical therapy is required.
If an individual is not able to pay for these costs and is not able to perform a job that requires a great deal of standing and moving, he or she can be out of work for quite some time. That is where workers’ compensation comes in.
However, many employees can be less than sympathetic when it comes to these types of injuries. Denials of workers’ compensation claims can result from employers who believe the employee does not require as much time off as claimed or does not need the extensive medical treatment that the claim may state is needed.
Benefits of Legal Assistance
An attorney comes in handy in these situations where an employer does not believe the employee needs the time off that is being claimed or does not believe the medical treatment being requested is truly valid or required.
However, if an employee who has suffered a broken ankle because of a work-related injury does not receive the proper type of recovery, he or she could permanently damage the ankle and cripple himself or herself in the future.
Many times, an employer may lowball with the first offer given, assuming the employee will not know any better and will accept what is given. An attorney who is trained in workers’ compensation knows how to value an injury and can advise the employee as to what amount is truly justified.
He or she can also handle the back and forth negotiation that is needed to get the employee the payments that are truly deserved.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have been hurt in an accident, breaking your ankle, and you have questions as to whether you need an attorney to prepare your claim, it is always recommended that you at least consult with an attorney to answer your questions.
A licensed attorney trained in workers’ compensation law will be able to review your case and determine your best course of action. To receive the compensation you deserve, contact an attorney in your area today.