A fractured toe is often a minor injury type, and workers who sustain this type of injury on the job may not know whether workers’ compensation insurance will pay for medical and disability expenses. If the broken toe injury was a direct result of a workplace accident, workers' compensation should provide work-injury compensation.
What causes a broken toe in the workplace?
A toe is made up of as many as three bones. When trauma to one of the bones occurs, a toe fracture may result. Typically, a fractured toe occurs when a worker drops a heavy object on their foot, or slams the front of the foot into a solid object. For workers who work around heavy objects, such as those in the construction industry, a broken toe injury is common. Injured workers who wish to receive workers' compensation need to prove that the injury is work-related.
The symptoms of a fractured toe most commonly include pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. A doctor may diagnose a broken toe injury by performing a physical exam, or by using imaging (such as an x-ray) technology.
Treatment for a Broken Toe Injury
Some broken toe injuries can be corrected with self-care at home. For minor toe injuries, MedlinePlus recommends taping the injured toe around the toe next to it and wearing a stiff-bottomed shoe. For more serious broken toe injuries, a medical professional may recommend splinting the toe. This is common if the toe that is injured is the big toe. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. A surgeon may use pins or screws to realign the broken bones and hold them in place.
The majority of broken toe injuries heal within six weeks or less. If the injury results in the employee being unable to work during the healing time, the worker may qualify for work injury compensation through workers' compensation.
Medical Benefits for a Fractured Toe Injury
When a broken toe occurs, the injured worker may need to seek medical care to diagnose the injury and to receive a recommendation about treatment (taping, wearing a stiff-bottomed shoe, splinting, or surgery). Both the appointment with the doctor, as well as treatment following the appointment, can be expensive. If the broken toe injury occurred while the employee was performing a work-related task, workers' comp should cover all necessary and reasonable medical expenses. If unsatisfied with your care, you can request alternative care.
Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits
In addition to medical benefits, a worker who misses more than three days of work due to a work-related injury, like a broken toe, may also qualify for disability benefits. Disability benefits will be paid in an amount equal to 80 percent of the employee’s wage if the employee is unable to return to work in any capacity.
If the employee is able to return to work in a position that pays less than the employee was making at his former job, then the employee is eligible for temporary partial disability. This is equal to two-thirds the difference between weekly earnings at the time of injury and the employee’s actual earnings while working in a lesser paying position.
What does a workers’ compensation attorney do?
A workers' compensation attorney can help prepare your claim, gather medical evidence to prove the severity of your fractured toe injury, and request a hearing to dispute a workers' comp denial. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our attorneys can assist with this, and answer any other questions you may have about workers' compensation benefits in Des Moines, and how you can recover benefits for your broken toe injury. To begin, call our team now at 888-435-9886 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation.