Orthopedic injuries at workplace: Things that you must know

A large number of orthopedic experts in the USA specialize in treating patients that have sustained workplace injuries and at the same time offering guidance on how to settle workplace compensation claims. Some of the orthopedic related injuries are as follows:

  • Overexertion injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Reaction injuries

One of the common and costly types of injuries is orthopedic injuries in the United States of America. In 2015, 37% of the workplace injuries caused sprains and tears which required the patients to take leave from the workplace for complete recovery. 12% of the injuries accounted for knee injuries and 13% were shoulder injuries. If you get injured in the workplace, worker’s compensation can help you pay for rehabilitation and medical expenses. It can also help recover a certain compensation amount for the lost wages. The monetary benefits given to the employee for covering their income loss is known as indemnity benefits. This cash benefit will be differing in accordance with the gravity of the injuries. With the help of an orthopedic expert witness and a reliable attorney, you can get the deserving compensation benefits.

Can you sue your employer for a workplace injury?

When you experience a workplace injury, you must immediately report the incident to the employer. Remember there is a statute of limitation within which you have to file the claim for getting the benefits. You lose the right to make the claim after the expiry of this deadline.

In general, the employees cannot bring a lawsuit against the employer for workplace injuries. Rather, the employer needs to pay a certain amount of compensation regardless of fault but in exchange, they are free from the liability of those injuries as well as from the personal injury lawsuits. Though employers are immune from such claims and lawsuits, there are cases where the employees can bring a lawsuit against the employer under the following circumstances:

  • If the employer intentionally causes injury to the patient.
  • The employer was grossly negligent
  • Your employer manufactured the product that caused injury to you
  • Employer refrains from providing the workers’ compensation
  • If the employer has a relationship with the contractor or subcontractor who was responsible for your injury
  • Lawsuits can be filed if you are an independent contractor. This is because when you work independently, the company you’re working for is not at all your employer. In this case, the employer is not free from lawsuits or claims.

To know if you can sue your employer, it is important to get in touch with an attorney. These legal representatives will retain an orthopedic surgery expert witness to determine if the injuries caused to the person are due to the fault of the employer. These experts have vast experience in handling these claims. Basically, the job of an orthopedic expert witness is to prepare a report on the case highlighting the orthopedic injuries, calculating the damages caused including loss of wages, calculating medical expenses of the past as well as the ones that’ll be needed in the future, causation, the present physical condition of the patient, and impact on life.

Workers’ compensation for orthopedic injuries:

Depending on the severity of the injury, the employer will be providing cash benefits to the employee for sustaining orthopedic injuries. You should immediately inform to your employer after sustaining injuries. For getting workers’ compensation, it is important to get a medical examination by an orthopedic surgeon. This surgeon acts as a medical expert witness in such cases. All 50 states of the United States restrict employer retaliation. Patients also have the right to seek an attorney’s help if the employer retaliates or treats you unfairly for seeking workers’ compensation. This is to ensure that your legal rights are safeguarded.

If you have claims against your employer, it is important to file them within the stipulated timeline. This timeline is known as the statute of limitations. This deadline for discrimination, retaliation, and personal injury will vary. This is one of the reasons why you should have a professional attorney by your side. They have complete knowledge about the legal aspects and they also have the experience to deal with the insurance companies. Thus, seeking professional help from an attorney is the best decision.

Role of orthopedic experts in workers’ compensation-

Mainly, the role of these expert witnesses is to prepare a report stating the cause of injury, nature of the injury, damages caused, ability to work, and also provide detailed documentation on the case. Besides this, they’ll also assist in determining if the injury is work-related. Another important thing to determine here is whether there is any contributory negligence.

When the injuries sustained by the worker are partial because of their own fault, the doctrine of contributory negligence will hold that the employer was responsible for the injury. In this regard, no matter how serious the orthopedic injury is, the workers will not be entitled to compensation. This is where an orthopedic surgeon expert witness will play an essential role. It’s important to determine who is responsible for the injury and once it is found that the employer or someone else working in the office was responsible, the lawsuit can be filed. However, the plaintiff should know that if employers provide workers’ compensation, then they are immune from personal injury lawsuits. Whether it is a knee, wrist, spine, hips, or shoulder injury, an orthopedic witness will work directly with the adjuster for authorization of the treatments. For extra comfort and convenience, these experts also have to prepare timely written reports in simplified language so that it can be comprehended easily. Also, these reports need to be in tune with the legal requirements. Hence, the role of orthopedic surgeon experts is highly beneficial and commendable because their opinion will play a major role in determining the amount of compensation.

If you or your loved ones have sustained injuries at the workplace, you should immediately reach out to an attorney and orthopedic surgeon to get your claims. Delays will only cause harm to you!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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