How to get compensation for a broken bone at work in Arizona
Workplace injuries are commonplace in any job that involves physical activity. On-the-job accidents can result in bone fractures and, even worse, permanent disability.
Since bone injuries can result in weeks and even months out of work, it could translate to financial difficulties for you and your family, considering the required medical expenses that could drain your wallet.
Types of bone injuries
A bone fracture is when the bone is out of its standard form or shape. There is a wide variety of bone-related injuries that can happen at work. In general, bone fractures can be categorized into 5 categories:
- Open or closed. An open fracture pierces the skin so that the bone is visible, whereas in a closed break the skin is not broken.
- Displaced. The broken bone tears apart.
- Partial. Incomplete breakage.
- Stress. A crack in the bone.
- Complete. A total breakage of the bone into 2 or more pieces.
These categories can be further narrowed down into the following:
A transverse fracture involves the total breakage of the bone at a right angle to the bone plane, tearing into 2 pieces. Transverse fractures are most common when a perpendicular force is exerted on the bone.
Compression fractures involve a shattered bone caused by high pressure or weight. Compression fractures most commonly involve the spine when it collapses.
A comminuted fracture is where a bone is broken, dividing into 3 or more pieces. Comminuted fractures often occur after high-impact trauma like a vehicle crashing.
An impacted fracture involves broken ends of a bone being jammed together by force. The bone is first fractured, and then 1 fragment is driven into the other.
An oblique fracture occurs when a bone breaks at an oblique angle. Oblique fractures are similar to transverse fractures with complete breakage. They obtain their name from the angle of the break.
When the bone is broken at a parallel angle, this is known as a spiral fracture. The most common spiral fracture is the bone twisting when the break spirals around the bone.
An avulsion fracture is when an injury occurs where the bone attaches to a tendon or ligament. This might result in the tendon or ligament pulling off a portion of the bone.
These types of bone fractures are not as severe as the other types of fractures listed above. A stress fracture involves a small crack or severe bruising in the bone.
Common bones that are broken or fractured in the workplace
Work-related bone fractures can affect different parts of the body. With a total of 206 bones in the adult body, there’s a wide array of bone injuries that can happen on the job. The most common bones broken or fractured in the workplace are:
- Foot and toes
- Collarbone or clavicle
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Injury compensation for workers in Arizona
Arizona workers’ compensation laws are regulated by the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and are meant to take care of workers in these situations. Workers’ compensation is insurance covering a worker’s medical expenses, wage loss benefits and even death benefits for eligible dependents.
Wage loss benefits are calculated based on the nature of the injury. The wage loss compensation amount varies depending on 4 broad injury categories, including temporary partial, temporary permanent, permanent partial and permanent full disability. An average settlement for a broken arm will therefore vary from broken leg compensation.
Returning to work
Can I work with a broken arm? It depends on your job.
Arizona’s workers’ compensation law permits injured workers to return to work in a reduced capacity, if possible. Be sure to consult your doctor and an attorney first before considering returning to work, even in partial capacity.
What to do if you break a bone on the job
After breaking a bone at work, you should immediately report it to your employer. Additionally, seek help from your doctor to help you file a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury. Your employer is also required to file an Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury with the ICA within 10 days.
This ensures that you get the required compensation in good time. The insurance can accept or deny the claim 21 days after notification. If it’s denied, don’t panic; there’s a window for appealing.