Broken Arms and Workers' Compensation Claims

You usually don’t plan to do anything more than go to work, do their job, and leave. Breaking your arm on the job can be an unexpected shock that causes you to incur expensive medical bills. Think about your life. Could you afford to pay for unexpected medical expenses associated with a broken arm? What if you were unable to work because of it?

If you break your arm on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Each state has a law in place that requires most employers to carry this insurance at no cost to their employees. It could help cover the medical expenses associated with your injury. It could even provide a portion of your wages if you couldn’t work.

Potential to Break Your Arm in the Workplace

Broken arms can happen even if you don’t expect it. Of course, there are some lines of work that may be more likely to suffer with a broken arm than others:

  • If you work in fast food or in a restaurant environment, a slip and fall can happen even if you wear the required safety shoes. Landing on your arm because of a slip and fall can break your arm.
  • Construction workers may fall off of beams or have heavy construction material fall on top of them. This could cause a compound or simple arm fracture.
  • Anyone who drives during their shift is at risk for a broken arm. A wreck can cause a minor break or it could even total crush an arm. Severe breaks can require multiple surgeries and years of rehab services.

Does Workers’ Compensation Provide for Pain and Suffering?

Although workers’ compensation may seem like a form of personal injury, it does not provide damages for pain and suffering for workers who are hurt on the job. However, there are still many benefits that injured workers should use. To be able to use workers’ compensation benefits, you must first file a workers’ compensation claim. This is often done through your Human Resources office.

Common Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation provides many helpful benefits for injured workers. Here are some of the common benefits that you may qualify to receive if you break your arm on the job:

Help with associated medical expenses. If you break your arm on the job, you may get help with medical bills, prescriptions, doctors’ visits, surgery, and even physical therapy. Workers’ compensation provides a list of doctors that you can see at no charge.

A portion of your lost wages. If you work in an industry that absolutely requires the use of both arms, you will likely be unable to work. In that instance, workers’ compensation may provide you with a portion of your lost wages.

Job training. In instances where you are not able to return to your line of work, you may be able to receive job training through workers’ compensation. This can help you learn new skills and get back into the workforce.

How to File for Workers’ Compensation With a Broken Arm

Anyone who has been injured while at work and has broken an arm may need to get treatment and take time off work to heal. In order to ensure you get workers’ compensation you need to follow a set procedure.

Some states demand that you tell your work supervisor immediately following the injury while others are a lot more generous with their deadlines which are often set at between 10 and 90 days. You should prioritize getting treatment for your broken arm by visiting a doctor as you will probably need a cast to be fitted once your bone has been positioned in the right place.

As workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied it is worth talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer before you lodge a claim.

Evidence to Support a Claim for a Broken Arm

Before you lodge your worker’s compensation claim you will need to provide evidence that you have a broken arm. This can be provided by your physician who can explain the treatment and recovery time.

To prove that the broken arm took place at work you will need eye witnesses to vouch for you. Sometimes there are video cameras placed in strategic positions in work places. You have the right to access this footage so if you need to this provides some of the evidence that you broke your arm while at work. Evidence is key to settling a workers’ compensation claim quickly.

Potential Settlement Amounts For a Broken Arm

All settlements for workers’ compensation include the medical treatment required to treat your broken arm and disability payments to cover lost wages while you recover. If the broken arm does not require surgery, non-surgical treatment for a broken arm could cost around $2,500; maybe more.

  • Visiting an emergency room could be $1,000.
  • An X-ray of the forearm costs on average $190.
  • Applying a forearm or upper arm cast costs between $228 and $240.
  • The physician’s fee can be between $90 and $200.
  • Removing the cast is a second physician’s visit.

Calculation of Disability Benefits

A broken arm takes a minimum of 6 weeks to heel. If the victim is paid $12 per hour for a 40 hour week, they can expect to wait out a wait period of up to 5 days or sometimes more before the payments commence. The payment is calculated at two-thirds the hourly rate which is $8 per hour. For a 40 hour week that is $320. For 5 weeks that is $1,600.

If the retroactive period is 20 days the victim should receive the 5 day wait period as well. So added to the disability payments is another $320. The total disability payments for 30 days are $1,920. If the total medical bill reaches the estimated $2,500 the total received in workers’ compensation will be $1,920 + $2,500=$4,420.

What Can Speed Up or Slow Down a Settlement?

A worker’s compensation settlement will be settled quickly if all deadlines are met such as the time allowed to inform the employer about the broken arm. Also, if the evidence that the broken arm took place at work is indisputable this will speed up the settlement.

Workers’ compensation settlements are not necessarily automatic and some are denied. This typically happens if the employer is not convinced that the employee’s broken arm took place at work. If there is any doubt in the evidence this will slow down the settlement.

Contacting a Workers' Compensation Attorney

In order to ensure you get your workers’ compensation entitlements talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer before you lodge your claim may get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have questions about what you may be entitled to through workers’ compensation, you should take the time to speak with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney will be paid through your settlement (not out of pocket), and this is the best way to get the answers that you need and determine if you’re being treated fairly by your employer.