Foot and Ankle Injuries in the Auto Industry
Accidents in the auto industry can result in debilitating and painful musculoskeletal injuries such as foot and ankle injuries. The mechanics of each injury are different, as is the most appropriate treatment. While physical therapy and rest, ice, compression and elevation may work for some injuries, others might require surgery and physical therapy. Ankle sprains, fractures of the metatarsals, compartment syndromes, and fractures of the heel bone are some common foot and ankle injuries. If you have suffered foot and ankle injuries in the auto industry, you may be able to obtain benefits, and a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help.Foot and Ankle Injuries in the Auto Industry
Many injuries can be managed conservatively. For example, if you suffer an ankle sprain on the factory floor, the fibers in the lateral ankle ligaments may have been impacted and you may simply need rest, ice, and elevation. However, there are other injuries that are far more severe or that don’t resolve well, resulting in instability of the foot or ankle. When an ankle sprain doesn’t resolve well, you may need lateral ankle ligament repair or reconstruction.
Another serious injury that is common in warehouse, workplace, or factory settings is compartment syndrome. There are several little compartments in the foot, each of which is filled with tendons, nerves, muscles and membrane. Compartment syndrome of the foot may be the result of a heavy object running over, crushing, or impacting the foot. When the membrane in a compartment cannot expand along with the foot’s swelling, the pressure inside the compartment may result in the compression of muscles, nerves and tendons. They may stop being able to function.
Another common injury in the auto industry is an injury to the metatarsal joint, which can happen when the foot is twisted or someone steps unevenly. This condition can also be the result of violent injuries like falling, car collisions, or other work-related accidents that crush the metatarsal joint.
Surgery may be required for ankle or foot injuries. Sometimes a broken foot bone requires screws that are placed internally in the bones and across the joint. When surgery isn’t performed, a boot or cast can be used. The healing rate may be 8-10 weeks and you may not be able to walk for several weeks, and then only with a boot. When certain injuries are not treated, there may be no full healing and no return to normal activities like going to work.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a program designed to provide benefits to workers injured in the course of employment regardless of who was at fault for the injuries. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act governs these claims and will cover foot and ankle injuries in the auto industry where those injuries were caused by your job.
Sometimes insurers try to save money by avoiding payment on claims on the grounds that there was a pre-existing condition. However, the crucial inquiry is whether foot or ankle injury was exacerbated by your job. If it was exacerbated, the insurer should pay benefits, and an experienced work injury lawyer can help you pursue the coverage you may be entitled to.Benefits
Benefits available under the workers’ compensation system can include medical benefits, disability benefits, mileage reimbursement, and vocational benefits. Workers’ compensation should pay for all reasonably necessary medical treatment for your foot and ankle, so long as the treatment is authorized. Temporary and permanent disability benefits can be either partial or total. Sometimes foot and ankle injuries are permanent and in that case it may be possible to recover permanent total or permanent partial disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits are extremely serious injuries that leave you unable to work at all, such as the loss of use of both your feet or both your ankles.Consult a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you suffer from foot and ankle injuries sustained in the auto industry, it is wise to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured workers in Chicago, Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Kane County, Cook County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We can also determine whether it is appropriate to seek other remedies. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.