Elbow and Wrist Injuries in the Auto Industry
Many people in the auto industry are at risk of suffering elbow and wrist injuries. Some of these injuries are unavoidable due to the nature of the work. Among other things, a worker may develop arthritis, cubital tunnel syndrome, DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, dislocations, lateral epicondylitis, Depuytren's contracture, fractures, and Boxer's fracture symptoms. If you have suffered elbow and wrist injuries in the auto industry, it can be very helpful to consult a skillful Chicago workers' compensation attorney.Elbow and Wrist Injuries in the Auto Industry
There are many elbow and wrist injuries that may be suffered on the job, each with its own symptoms. For example, a Colles fracture involves a breaking of one or both bones in the forearm just above the wrist. You could get this type of fracture if you fall forward on the job and put your hands and arms out to avoid your face hitting the floor. With this type of injury doctors usually have to immobilize the arm and wrist with a cast, but sometimes a surgery is required. Another injury is an elbow fracture, which involves a break in one or more of the bones that compose the elbow joint. Elbow fractures are usually caused by trauma to the elbow that can result from a direct blow to the elbow, falling on the elbow, twisting an elbow beyond an elbow's normal range of motion, or falling on an outstretched arm. Sometimes doctors treat an elbow fracture by putting a split or temporary cast in place, while in others, metal plates and screws might be surgically implanted to fix the fracture.Filing a Claim
Under Illinois law, if you suffer elbow and wrist injuries in the auto industry injury, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. If you suffer an elbow or wrist injury that is job-related, you should let your employer know in writing. Often you'll need to fill out a report about what happened. Once the report is filed, the employer or insurer can either accept or reject your claim. If your claim is accepted, you will receive benefits.
However, sometimes insurers deny legitimate claims or refuse to pay certain benefits to which you are entitled, while paying others. They may argue that you had a pre-existing condition, or dispute that the injury is job-related. For example, if you previously injured your elbow playing tennis, an insurer may deny your claim stating that you have a pre-existing condition. However, if the pre-existing condition was aggravated or exacerbated by your current job, you may still be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. It can be helpful to consult an attorney about your particular situation.
If your benefits are denied, you can file an application for adjustment of claim and serve it on your employer. This application needs to be filed within 3 years of your injury or within 2 years of the last compensation payment you received. After filing a timely application, you can request a hearing before an arbitrator with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. If you or the insurer are not happy with the arbitrator's decision, an appeal to the Commission is permitted, and three Commissioners can review the decision. Under some circumstances it is possible to appeal to the Circuit Court, and after that to the Illinois appellate or Supreme Court.Medical Benefits
One of the most important benefits provided under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act is coverage for medical expenses. You are entitled to have your medical bills for elbow and wrist injuries suffered on the job covered. Medical bills may be for doctor's appointments, medical equipment, physical therapy, surgeries, and medications. For example, if you reasonably need metal plates and screws to be surgically implanted to fix a fracture, the workers' compensation insurer should pay for that.Consult a Workers' Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you are a worker who has suffered elbow and wrist injuries in the auto industry in Chicago, you should consider retaining a workers' compensation lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we help injured workers seek the benefits they are entitled to in Champaign, Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Springfield, as well as Cook, Adams, Champaign, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Set up your free consultation by calling us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contacting us online.