I Suffered an Ankle Fracture While Working. Now What?

If you’ve suffered from a work-related injury in Arizona, know you are not alone. In 2013, nationwide, there was reported to be 170,450 job-related back injuries; 229,190 slip, trip, and fall injuries; and 327,060 sprains, tears, and strains. If you are among the latter who have received a job-related ankle sprain or fracture, here’s what you need to know.

Inform your employer of your injury

If you work in the state of Arizona, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation without any repayment on your behalf whether or not the injury was your fault. Be sure to inform your employer as soon as possible about your injury as they are required to report the injury to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) as well as the insurance company that will cover the injury.

Seek medical attention

While a minor sprain may be taken care of individually, it’s important to seek medical attention in the chance that the injury may be a fracture. A typical ankle sprain is caused by an overextension of the ligaments and can often be treated with a cold compress or brace. However, a fracture relates to the bones of the ankle (the tibia, talus, calcaneus, or fibula) and to properly heal, the injury must be seen by a doctor to immediately set the bones. A sprain will swell, but a fracture will cause swelling with additional numbness and intense pain.

File a claim

When you are injured on the job, it’s required of you to file a Worker’s Report of Injury to the ICA. This can either be done by yourself or while you are at your doctor’s office wherein you may complete a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury, which your doctor will submit to the ICA for you.

Make sure your claim has been received

Within two weeks of filing a Worker’s Report of Injury, you should receive a confirmation letter from the ICA acknowledging the reception of your claim. Call the ICA if you have not received this confirmation letter.

What do I do if my employer’s insurance denies my claim for workers comp?

Within three weeks of your filed claim being confirmed by the ICA, you will receive the decision made by your employer’s insurance company regarding whether or not they will grant or deny your workers compensation. In the chance that your claim has been denied by your employer’s insurance company, you can submit a request for a hearing with the ICA within 90 days. The ICA will respond with a letter detailing the time and date of your hearing, typically three months from the day you sent the request.

Hire a workers compensation lawyer

While hiring a lawyer is a not a requirement, it will benefit your case exponentially. A workers comp lawyer (in this case, an AZ workers comp lawyer), knows the procedures, dates, and paperwork that must all be tracked and taken care of with great organizational detail. Choosing to be your own lawyer may not work out well in your favor as falling behind on paperwork even once may jeopardize and even lose your case.

An AZ workers comp lawyer argues cases like yours on a professional basis. Therefore, they know what evidence to procure for your case, what may be argued and what may not, what evidence to challenge, and how to tell whether something was illegally obtained. Your employer will most likely have a lawyer as well and so hiring an AZ workers comp lawyer will increase the likelihood of your case being won.

If you’ve suffered from an ankle fracture or sprain while on the job and you are looking for an AZ workers comp lawyer, contact the law offices of Robert E. Wisniewski to see what can be done for you.