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Crush Injuries: What They Add Up To In Worker's Compensation

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Anytime you receive a work injury, it sets your whole life back a few months. Now consider crush injuries, those injuries that completely crush an entire extremity. What does that mean for you? Worse still, what does that mean for your employer? A crush injury adds up fast in medical care and expenses, long term care, and financial hardship. Here are the cold, hard facts of a crush injury and what your worker's compensation needs to cover.

Bone-Crushing Injuries and the Damage They Do

Injuries of this sort to your head and torso can be fatal or life-threatening. If you manage to pull through all the surgery and wake up in an ICU, you can count yourself one of the very few lucky ones. There is no question that you have pain and suffering because your hospital records prove it.

Then there are the bone-crushing injuries of a hand, foot, arm or leg. There are dozens of tendons, ligaments and small muscles in the hands and feet, and when something has enough force to crush the bones, it annihilates most of the tissues as well. Not only do doctors have to surgically reset and pin every piece of bone, but they also have to reattach and stitch every torn and shredded muscle, ligament and tendon. Your hand or foot is completely immobilized for months and may require additional surgeries to make your extremity reasonably functional, never mind the nerve damage that can never be repaired or replaced.

Medical Costs Involved

Your ambulance ride to the hospital, without insurance, is around $600. X-rays are another $200 and up, depending what part of the country you live in. Surgery could cost you almost $14,000 or more, but that is a low-ball estimate which does not take into account the multiple bones in your fingers and wrist. The more bones that are crushed, the more it will cost to have them surgically repaired. To stabilize your smashed wrist and fingers, you will need a cast to your elbow, and some instruments that look like they are straight out of the Edward Scissorhands movie, which adds up to another $1,000, give or take a couple hundred.

All of this totals over $20,000, without insurance, and before you ever exit the hospital. It does not include any doctor's fees, surgeon's fees or medical supplies and painkillers. Forget about physical therapy expenses and medications to help you cope because the prices would astound you. If the injury was not painful enough, the financial cost will crush you a second time.

Your Worker's Compensation Benefits

Most compensation benefits only cover a small portion of these expenses. If you misunderstood your benefits package when you signed up and thought you were getting $20,000 with the loss of a limb, you are in a for a shock. It actually means the amputation of a crushed limb or if the limb loses all use and hangs limply by your side. If your limb can be saved, you are only looking at a fraction of that $20,000 you thought you were getting, and that will never cover your medical costs at the time of service, nor will it cost the months of therapy after. For this you will need the help of a worker's compensation lawyer, like Kenneth R Schuster And Associates PC.

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1 December 2014