Regardless of where one works, a broken finger injury can impair the ability to do a job. This might be especially true for those who work with their hands on a regular basis, e.g., construction workers, agricultural workers, and those in the manufacturing and production industries. They may be unable to work temporarily, or may have to perform lower-paying work while waiting for the injury to heal.
Fortunately, Iowa law provides Des Moines workers the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits if they broke a finger at work. Read on to learn more about broken finger injuries and collecting workers’ comp.
Causes of a Broken Finger Injury
In order to collect workers’ compensation, the injury must be work-related. Many workers’ daily tasks present plenty of opportunities for a finger injury. For example, a worker might break his finger by crushing it under machinery, hitting it with a tool, etc. But any worker can suffer a finger injury in the workplace. He might slam it in a door, break it during a slip and fall, etc. Whatever the cause, if it’s work-related, workers’ compensation can cover it.
Symptoms of and Treatment for a Finger Fracture
The first sign and symptom of a broken finger is serious pain at the injury site. Then, other symptoms may include the following, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- Inability to move or use the finger
This can present difficulty for workers who regularly use their fingers. It might prevent them from performing normal job duties. They might have to stay home to recover or might do other work at a lower-paying position while recovering.
Paying for treatment can be difficult for workers losing wages while recovering. Even if they have health insurance, they may have to cover deductibles, co-pays, and uncovered treatments.
And treatment can be expensive. The worker will have to visit the doctor and in some cases might have to visit the hospital, especially in the event of a severe fracture or crush injury.
Workers may have to wear a splint during recovery and in some cases might require manual manipulation to put it back in place. Some may require surgical repair of the finger.
Getting Workers’ Compensation if You Broke a Finger While Working
Inform your employer that you broke your finger. You must inform your employer within 90 days of the accident. Your employer may then inform its workers’ compensation insurer and you can file a workers’ comp claim. Your employer can choose which doctor you see, though you may request alternate care if you are unhappy with the employer-chosen doctor. If you are unsatisfied with the doctor’s assessment of your injury, you may seek an independent medical exam (IME) at the employer’s expense.
Ultimately, your claim must prove you suffered your injury performing job tasks and must establish the extent of the disability. Below are the disability benefits a worker who broke his finger may recover.
- Temporary total disability if he is unable to work
- Temporary partial disability if he must take a lower-paying position temporarily
- Permanent partial disability if there are permanent impairments but that do not completely prevent the individual from working
Injured workers may also qualify for medical benefits to cover all medical expenses related to the injury.
Walker, Billingsley & Bair Can Help You
If you broke your finger at work and have questions about filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair today. Call us now at (888) 435-9886 or fill out the contact form located on our website.