Sports figures are not the only workers who sustain occupational injuries to their extremities. Everyday workers also have torn shoulder rotator cuffs, broken fingers or a “blown meniscus” in their knees. These painful injuries may happen to everyone from clerical assistants to construction workers to truck drivers.
When an employee injures her arm, leg or hand, it may affect the entire extremity or only a portion of the body part. For example, an employee may develop a “crush injury” to his hand or finger. Generally, this injury may be isolated to that part of the arm. However, the residual effects of the injury may involve the rest of the arm over time. In these situations, a “superadded” injury may occur. In other words, another injury develops because of the original injury.
Taking the same example of the crush injury to the hand, the claimant uses her other hand to compensate for the lack of use of the originally injured hand. Consequently, the injured worker may develop increasing hand pain or tendonitis in the opposite hand. Hence, the pain and required treatment for the other hand may be “superadded” and would be covered by workers’ compensation provided medical documentation supports the same.
In another example, a worker may suffer an injury to either the left or right knee. As a result, the employee is required to have crutches. The employer and insurer would be responsible for paying for the medical treatment including the crutches and prescription medication.
Taking the same example, let’s assume that due to the use of the crutches the injured worker develops extreme bilateral shoulder pain requiring medical attention. The shoulder treatment for both shoulders are said to be “superadded” to the knee injury and may be covered under workers’ compensation.
There are many combinations where these occupational injuries may transpire. Ankle injuries may cause knee injuries which may cause hip or back pain. Wrist injuries may cause elbow pain which may involve some neck treatment. The key for these scenarios rests with the medical causation. If the treating physician can relate the pain, injuries, and treatment to the work injury, then Georgia law should cover them.
Industrial injuries to extremities will likely require specialized treatment by a doctor trained or certified in orthopedic or sports medicine. When choosing a workers’ compensation attorney, it is important that your attorney understands the medical dynamics involved in the case as well as having a working knowledge of the orthopedic physicians in your area. At the Ramos Law Firm, our attorneys possess those qualities.
For more information relating to occupational injuries to the arms, legs and hands requiring orthopedic treatment, contact one of our attorneys immediately to get your best chance at compensation benefits.
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Advocating for Georgia's Injured Workers since 2005