Due to the physical nature of their work, construction workers have a high risk of sustaining broken bones due to falls and other on-the-job accidents. Fortunately, Georgia’s workers’ compensation law is designed to alleviate the financial strain a construction worker may feel as the result of a fracture.
Types of Fractures
Fractures, regardless of location, are classified by how the bone was broken.
- Stable fractures occur when the ends of a bone are barely out of place and can easily be realigned properly by your doctor. This is the least serious type of injury.
- Open or compound fractures occur when the skin is pierced by the bone or a force that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture.
- Transverse fractures have a horizontal fracture line.
- Oblique fractures have an angled fracture pattern.
- Comminuted fractures occur when the bone is shattered into three or more separate pieces.
Treatment for Broken Bones
Doctors use several different methods to treat broken bones, depending upon the severity and location of the fracture.
- Plastic or fiberglass casts keep the bone in the correct position so it can heal properly.
- Functional casts or braces allow limited movement of nearby joints. This gives the patient added mobility, but functional casts or braces can’t be used with more serious fractures.
- Traction realigns the bone by applying a steady pulling action.
- External fixation surgery uses metal screws or pins placed into a broken bone and connected to a bar outside the skin to stabilize the area and keep the fracture in place until it has a chance to heal.
- Open reduction and internal fixation surgery repositions bone fragments into the correct alignment and holds them together with screws, metal plates, or rods inserted down the marrow space in the center of the bone.
Resuming Your Regular Routine
Fractures can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to heal, depending upon the location and severity of the break. The following steps are recommended to speed healing:
- Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations and keep all necessary appointments.
- Don’t rely on pain to indicate whether physical activity is safe. Fractures stop being painful long before the body is healed fully.
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to promote bone strength.
- Ask about exercises you can do to restore joint function, muscle strength, and flexibility.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
Workers’ compensation claims for broken bones involve fewer disputes regarding the severity of the injury. It’s possible for doctors to disagree about whether a worker who has suffered a soft tissue injury such as a sprain or strain is ready to return to work, but the severity of a fracture is easily proven by looking at the patient’s x-rays.
If you sustained a fracture at work, you may be eligible for several types of compensation:
- Medical benefits pay for the cost of any necessary treatment, including emergency care, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and pain medication as well as travel expenses related to seeking medical care.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits provide income while you are unable to work.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits make up a percentage of the difference in income if you are earning less money while working light duty following your accident.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits reimburse a worker for the permanent loss of function in a body part or the body as a whole. While most broken bones will eventually heal fully, PPD benefits might be available if you experienced complications such as infection, blood clots, or bone death due to lack of oxygen.
Hiring an attorney with extensive experience in handling workers’ compensation claims is the best way to ensure that you receive all of the compensation you’re entitled to under Georgia law. Rechtman & Spevak’s legal team is committed to assisting construction workers and other employees in obtaining the compensation they need to move forward with their lives after a workplace injury. Broken bones and similar injuries are common in physically demanding jobs in construction, warehouses, the airline industry for ramp agents and baggage handlers, stock and sales associates at companies like Walmart, Lowes, and other Georgia businesses. Please call 404-355-2688 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review to discuss the specific details of the injury you have experienced.