Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers working to get you the best compensation award for your injury claim.
If you recently suffered a hip-related injury while on the job, you may be in incredible pain and feel uncertain about the future. A work injury to the hip (or both hips) isn’t uncommon, and it can require long recovery times.
It’s often assumed that a person could only hurt their hip due to a major accident, but that’s not true. A variety of workplace conditions can cause a hip injury, including:
- Heavy equipment (being hit by a large piece of equipment)
- Repetitive motion (doing the same movement over and over)
- Ergonomically inaccurate office furniture (chairs)
- Slip, trip and fall
What’s worse, injuries to the hip can lead to a variety of common maladies such as bursitis, fractures, labral tears and even snapping hip syndrome. Each year, dozens of folks in Athens injure their hip on the job and seek treatment for their ailments.
Recovery from a work-related hip injury can take weeks or many months. Sometimes, a person must relearn simple daily activities like climbing stairs. If the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary up to and including a total hip replacement, which can take weeks to recover from — and that’s with the help of intense physical therapy. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a full serious hip injury recovery to take up to a year.
During the healing process, you may be anxious and stressed as you wonder where your paycheck will come from. Who will cover your medical bills and basic living expenses while you’re unable to work? But you shouldn’t worry. That’s what workers’ compensation insurance is for.
Attorneys Ben Gerber and Tom Holder have the knowledge, experience and passion to make certain all your needs are met while you recuperate from a hip injury. Our team of attorneys and legal staff is intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of workers’ compensation law in Georgia, and we’ll make sure not to leave any potential benefits on the table.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
337 South Milledge Ave, Ste. 209-7
Athens, GA 30605
9:00am – 5:00pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Common types of hip and leg injuries at work
Athens workers face many different types of hip-related injuries on the job every day. Some of the most common types of injuries are:
- Hip dislocations
- Hip fractures
- Hip labral tears
- Hip strains
- Pelvic fractures
- Acetabular fractures
- Femur shaft fracture (broken thighbone)
- Hip bursitis
- Osteoarthritis of the hip
- Burning thigh pain (meralgia paresthetica)
- Thigh strains
- Hamstring muscle injuries
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common workplace hip injuries, especially among middle aged and older employees. This affliction also affects women more often.
Some authorities on the topic say the most dangerous hip injury is called “acute compartment syndrome,” which is a painful condition when pressure builds up in your muscles. This can occur after a person suffers serious trauma to their hip, such as breaking a bone, severe bruising or is crushed. The condition is considered a medical emergency and if you think this is happening to you, you should seek immediate medical help.
Common causes of work-related hip injuries
A few common examples of hip injuries that people working in Athens often suffer in the workplace include:
- Being hit or struck by a forklift or truck, even a very slow speed nudge, can seriously damage hip ligaments and pelvis bones.
- Lifting heavy items or repetitively lifting, even when using the proper lifting technique, can lead to chronic hip pain over time.
- Defective equipment or work tools, machinery or footwear can lead to an injured hip.
- Slip and falls are one of the most common ways a hip is injured, often due to wet or slippery floors.
- Falls from a height, such as falling over a railing or off a ladder, can result in severe damage to the hip, depending on how you land.
- Car accidents while on the clock, such as a crash while on official work business, can result in serious hip injuries.
How to prevent hip injuries at work
Here are a few suggestions for how employers and companies can help prevent hip injuries in the workplace:
- Provide proper protective equipment and footwear to prevent slip and falls
- Offer adjustable (ergonomic) work surfaces, stools or chairs
- Encourage “ergo breaks,” or the chance to rest and change positions
- Minimize or reduce the amount of activities involving lifting, twisting or bending
- Invest in special “anti-fatigue” mats or shock-absorbing floor surfaces
Here are some ideas for how employees and workers can help reduce the chance of hip injury in the workplace:
- Avoid wearing high heeled shoes
- Rearrange or readjusting your workstation
- Change your standing position frequently
- Stand “Pirate-style” with one foot on a raised surface
- Wear orthotic inserts or protective inner shoe soles
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and practice good posture
Types of treatments for hip injuries
If simpler forms of treatment fail to alleviate your hip injury (treatments such as steroid injections, medications and physical therapy), an orthopedic surgeon may recommend hip surgery. Some common procedures and operations that are typically covered by workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Hip arthroscopy. This minimally invasive procedure is commonly used to treat severe hip labral tears. During this procedure, a surgeon inserts instruments through a small incision in the hip joint to correct the problem.
- Hip resurfacing. This type of surgery is sometimes conducted on younger injured workers as an alternative to a total hip replacement. It involves reshaping the femoral head, which is then covered by a special material to help it fit in the socket better.
- Osteotomy. This is a serious surgery that involves the doctor removing damaged parts of the hip and reshaping the joint to improve alignment.
- Total hip replacement. If the damage is severe enough, an orthopedic surgeon may need to remove the damaged hip entirely and insert a prosthesis. This extensive surgery is the second most-common form of joint replacement surgery (behind knee replacements).
Workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace hip injury
Many hip injuries and the procedures described above may require substantial and expensive medical care. On top of costly surgery, it’s not uncommon for hip injury patients to require follow-up treatment, physical therapy and extensive pain management with medication. Once you’ve had your surgery, your doctor may disable you from all work for a period of time.
However, generally speaking, here’s a list of the benefits that most injured workers in Athens receive for a workplace hip injury:
- Lost wages — Up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, capped at $675 per week.
- Medical expenses — Hip injury medical treatment is often expensive and may cost upwards of $100,000. In addition to paying the bill for your surgery, workers’ comp should cover any related medication, physical therapy, and even travel expenses to and from doctor’s appointments.
- Job retraining — If your job required a substantial amount of standing, running, lifting or walking before your injury occurred, you may be entitled to extensive periods of wage loss benefits due to difficulty returning to that same job. In such cases, workers’ comp can cover the cost to retrain you for a new job or occupation.
- Disability — If your hip injury is so severe that you will never fully recover and will suffer lifelong pain and suffering, then you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits.
What to do if you hurt your hip on the job
If you think you’ve injured your hip while on the job, it’s important to follow a few simple steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Notify your supervisor or manager as soon as possible. (Injured workers who fail to report a work-related injury within 30 days could lose their right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.)
- Start the workers’ compensation process by filing a claim.
- Visit your employer’s approved doctor for any follow-up treatment.
- Attend all doctor’s visits and physical therapy.
- Avoid posting on social media while you’re on the mend.
- Consult a workers’ compensation attorney near you.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Why you need an experienced Athens hip injury attorney on your side
There are dozens of law firms in the Athens area, but none will give you the personal one-on-one experience like the attorneys at Gerber & Holder. We have over 75 years of combined experience in the workers’ compensation field. Rest assured that we will leave no applicable benefits on the table.
We’ve helped many clients who have suffered a work-related hip injury. We can help you too. No case is too small. We promise free consultations so that you can learn more about your potential case before you make a decision of what to do next. Take advantage of it, make the smart choice, and let Gerber & Holder represent you.