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Hand Injuries for City of Chicago Workers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Municipal Employees

Whether at a desk or outdoors, City of Chicago workers may sustain significant injuries, such as hand injuries, while performing their work duties. Hand injuries for City of Chicago workers can leave them unable to work in their usual capacities. If you suffered a hand injury at work, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

Hand Injuries for City of Chicago Workers

Hand injuries can range from mild sprains to severe fractures. Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome may occur as the result of long hours spent typing and overusing the hands. Sprains, which occur when ligaments in the hand are damaged, can involve minor tears or a total rupture. The degree of damage will dictate the scope of the treatment and the duration of recovery period. Falls and accidents involving force can fracture or dislocate bones, particularly of the wrist. Fractures of the metacarpals and phalanges are also common hand injuries. With a boxer’s fracture, the fifth metacarpal joint is depressed. When a hand suffers a crushing injury, acute compartment syndrome may result.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you suffered hand injuries on the job, you should file an incident report with your supervisor to initiate the workers’ compensation claim. You should document your injury by providing written notice to your supervisor even when you believe your supervisor is already aware of the injury and the accident was witnessed by multiple co-workers.

The City of Chicago is self-insured. This means that they do not pay premiums to secure workers’ compensation insurance. Rather, they pay claims directly to injured employees. A director under the supervision of the City’s managing deputy comptroller manages the City’s self-insured Workers’ Compensation Program while a third party administers the claims. As a City of Chicago worker, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including medical care, temporary and permanent disability, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits, when injured on the job. Hand injuries for City of Chicago workers may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about obtaining workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related accident, speak with an experienced lawyer.

Medical Care

As part of your workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to have the City pay for your reasonable and necessary medical care. Hand injuries may require a range of different treatments. The type and severity of the injury will affect the treatment required. Personal characteristics, such as your age and any medical condition, may also affect the treatment. In simple cases, hand injuries may only need rest, ice, compression and elevation. In other cases, the hand may need to be supported with taping or immobilized with a cast, splint or brace. Your physician may also prescribe physiotherapy to regain strength and a full range of motion. For severe injuries, a surgeon may need to operate to repair the damage. For example, if you suffer compartment syndrome, you may need an emergent fasciotomy to relieve the pressure and prevent any irreversible damage.

Disability Benefits

Hand injuries may involve temporary or permanent disability. For instance, if you fractured a metacarpal while working for the City, this injury may affect your ability to type or repair equipment or machines. The injury may take 4-6 weeks to heal, during which time you may be temporarily disabled and unable to work. You may be eligible for temporary disability benefits during this period. While you cannot initially obtain benefits for the first three days you are away from work, this amount will be paid retroactively if you remain unable to work for at least fourteen days.

If the City has another job that you can perform, you may experience only a temporary partial disability as a result of your hand injury. You are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if you return to work on a light duty basis and earn less than you would in the full performance of your duties. However, if you cannot work at all for the City due to your hand injury, you may be able to obtain temporary total disability benefits. Temporary total disability is paid at a rate of 2/3 your average weekly wage. If you are left completely and permanently unable to work or you lose the use of both your hands as the result of a work-related injury, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Hand injuries can impact your work by limiting the types of duties you are able to perform. If you are a City of Chicago worker who sustained a hand injury, you should consult with the skilled lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents workers in Rockford, Aurora, Quincy, and Champaign, along with Kane, Winnebago, Cook, Sangamon, Adams and Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.