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Broken Bones in the Airline Industry

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Chicago Employees

In spite of the rigidity of bones, they do have some give. There is a point at which force becomes too strong, and the bone will break. How severe the break or fracture is depends on how much force was applied. When the breaking point was only exceeded by a little bit, a crack is more likely than a total break. When the force is quite extreme, such as when a heavy object falls on someone’s foot, the bone may break all the way through or even shatter. If you have suffered a broken bone in the airline industry, you may be entitled to benefits. Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can help you determine your legal options.

Types of Broken Bones and Fractures

If a break results in fragments of bone poking through the skin or the wound goes all the way to the broken bone, it is an open fracture or break. This can result in complications because there may be an infection in the wound or bone. Other types of fractures include oblique fractures, transverse fractures, and comminuted fractures in which the bone shatters into three or more pieces.

Broken Bones in the Airline Industry

Turbulence can cause a number of injuries on a flight, and broken bones are a common injury arising out of turbulence-related accidents. For example, if turbulence is particularly bad, a food or beverage cart may careen down the aisle or even fly into the air. These carts may weigh hundreds of pounds, and if they hit a flight attendant or other crewmember, broken bones may result. Falling luggage, too, can result in broken bones.

Sometimes cabin crew and pilots are at greater risk of broken bones due to disrupted sleep patterns. There is a link between disrupted sleep and osteoporosis, which is characterized by increased fragility and lowered bone mass. If the bones become weak or brittle, the risk of fractures is greater.

Independent Medical Examinations

You may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination in connection with your workers’ compensation claim. The independent medical exam might be requested by your employer to determine the nature and cause of your broken bones. You’ll need to participate in the exam in order to continue to get benefits. The insurer must cover the costs of the exam and any items related to the exam, including your travel costs and the cost of meals, as well as the wages you lost because you had to attend the independent medical exam.   A doctor performs an independent medical exam, but you need not receive treatment from that doctor. Rather, the doctor is supposed to collect information, and you may need to answer questions and undergo medical tests or imaging as a result. The doctor may be retained to figure out whether the broken bones were incurred in the course of your work. There may be a determination about the nature and extent of the injuries, and how long it will take for you to recover and go back to work.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

As an airline worker, broken bones would likely keep you from performing your job, at least temporarily. You may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. To get these benefits, you need to show that you cannot work with your injury. The end date for your eligibility for these types of benefits would be when you’re no longer totally prevented from working. You can go back to work when you reach maximum medical improvement. Sometimes your treating doctor will disagree with the independent medical examination doctor about whether you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. While you may believe your doctor, you should be aware that an employer could rely on the independent medical examination doctor for purposes of terminating temporary total disability benefits. It is advisable to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about your situation.

Retain a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you have suffered broken bones in the airline industry, Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca may be able to help. Our Chicago attorneys represent airline workers with broken bones and other injuries in Rockford, Aurora, Champaign, Springfield, and Quincy, as well as Adams, Sangamon, Cook, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846, or contact us online to set up a free consultation.