Illinois Work Comp – What is a Broken Femur Worth?
A broken leg from a work-related accident can be a terrible injury. There's typically no worse break than if you fracture your femur.
The femur bone, also known as the thigh bone, is the largest bone in the body and the only one in the upper leg. At the top, it's connected to your pelvis through your hip joint. At the bottom, it's connected to your tibia and patella, better known as the shinbone and knee cap.
The good news is that the femur doesn't break a lot. That's because it requires a pretty significant event for it to break. Common causes of work-related thigh bone fractures include:
Getting hit by a forklift in a warehouse
A fall from a big height off a ladder or other device
A weakened bone that has a lot of stress put on it from something like excessive jumping
While the break can happen anywhere on the bone, it most commonly occurs toward the top and impacts the hip. These are serious injuries and almost always require surgery with a recovery time of between four to six months. If there are several breaks in the bone, which is not uncommon, it's likely that the surgeon will put in plates and screws to help the bone heal. In some cases, you might also need “external fixation” which are bars and screws outside the body to help the bone heal better and faster.
The good news is that most people do recover from this surgery and within six weeks after surgery, your doctor should have a good indication as to how the surgery went.
The big question we get is what is a broken leg like this worth? The answer depends on a few things including:
1. The treatment you receive. How did the surgery go? Will you need another?
2. The recovery that you make. Are you back to your old job? Do you need permanent restrictions?
3. What were you earning at the time of the accident and what can you earn now?
4. Your age.
5. Are there any defenses to the claim that the insurance company might have such as you failing a drug test, engaging in horseplay, or accidents outside the workplace.
6. Was someone who doesn't work at your company at fault for the accident and is there a lawsuit pending against them?
In other words, every case is different so the range of what these cases can be worth will be different from person to person. Most people who get these injuries work in labor jobs that pay fairly well. As a result, most cases are worth somewhere in the mid to high five figures on the low end to up to $400,000 or so on the high end depending on your recovery. There is also the issue of having what is called a Medicare Set Aside to compensate you for future care you might need. If you have hardware inside your body, there's a good chance it will have to come out someday. That costs money and it's compensation that should be given to you if that need is anticipated.
While not every Illinois work injury requires a lawyer, a broken femur injury is so serious that it would be a terrible idea not to have representation. It can literally be the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars even when the 20% attorney fee is added. On top of that, if there are any delays in your care, you need action right away, and having a lawyer in place can speed up the process for you.
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.