If you broke your arm at work, you may recover workers’ compensation benefits. Recovery can take a few weeks or even months. During this time you might be disabled or able to return to work performing light duty tasks. Your benefits can address your injury based on severity and ability to work.
Overview of a Fractured Arm
Fractures at work are many times caused by a fall. But a fracture could also be the result of getting the arm trapped in equipment or even upon impact in a motor vehicle accident. As long as this injury happened while performing job duties, compensation for medical treatment and a portion of lost earnings are available.
Pain is the most common sign of a fracture. Many people hear a snapping or cracking sound when it occurs. It may be difficult to move or rotate. There could be swelling, bruising and tenderness. Sometimes there is even numbness/weakness in the fingers or wrist.
While all fractured arms require medical attention right away, one type of break is a special case for concern. A compound fracture occurs when the bone pierces through the skin, which can pose a risk of infection. Workers’ compensation covers all medical treatment and care related to the injury.
Treatment of a Fractured Arm
When possible, a doctor’s initial treatment is realigning the bones. To keep things stabilized, a splint will be placed on the arm. A sling is worn to keep the arm in position. The fracture may require a brace or cast. If follow-up appointments show the position of the bones shifted, surgery may be necessary.
In the event of a compound fracture, the worker might have to undergo emergency surgery. For other breaks, surgery may be put on hold until swelling has gone down.
There are several types of procedures that doctors might perform. Surgeons may insert plates and screws to hold the bones in position. Less common is an external fixation. As described by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), this requires placement of metal screws or pins into the bone above and below the site of the fracture. The screws and pins are then attached to a bar that is outside the skin.
Workers’ Compensation Disability for a Fractured Arm
Workers’ comp benefits depend on the worker’s average weekly wage and degree of disability, as determined by a doctor. Disability cash benefits are calculated as two-thirds of average weekly wages multiplied by disability percentage.
So if a doctor declares the worker is 75 percent disabled and was earning average wages of $600 per week prior to the injury, disability benefits are calculated by multiplying 600 by .75 and then taking two-thirds of the result. In this case, the worker would be entitled to $299.97 in cash benefits.
Workers who lose part of their wage-earning capacity permanently as a result of their broken arm may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. The benefits available depend on the degree of permanent impairment. Learn more about the different degrees of disability classifications.
The Disability Guys help New Yorkers recover fair benefits to which they are entitled. Set up a consultation with Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. in New York to go over your workers’ comp case: (866) 205-2415.