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hip painIf you’ve suffered a hip injury at work, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance, which is paid for by the employer, covers the costs of your medical treatment, replaces a portion of lost wages, and pays you a portion of your wages during any period of disability you suffer as a result. But submitting a workers’ comp claim is a bureaucratic process, and any slip-up could cost you the benefits you deserve. Rather than trying to jump through these hoops yourself, get help from a legal team with a proven track record of putting money back in the pockets of injured workers.

A Raleigh workers’ compensation attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can review your injury and explain your options during a no-obligation consultation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Let us help you pursue all the workers’ compensation benefits provided by North Carolina law.

When Can You Get Workers Comp for a Hip Injury?

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers with three or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect its employees in the event of injury. You may seek workers’ comp if you are a full or part-time employee who suffered a work-related hip injury. You may also file a workers’ comp claim if your injury developed gradually over time due to your work, although these case are rare.

What is the average compensation for a hip injury? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average cost of workers’ comp benefits for hip, thigh, and pelvis injuries was $60,155. These costs include compensation for medical care and lost wages.

Be aware that workers’ compensation benefits cover medical bills and a portion of your lost wages resulting from work-related injuries. They don’t offer coverage for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.

A Raleigh-area workers’ compensation lawyer can offer you a more thorough idea of what benefits an injured worker has a right to claim during a free consultation.

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How Do You Obtain a Hip Injury Workers’ Comp Settlement?

The North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees the workers’ compensation system, recommends that injured workers follow these steps to seek workers’ comp:

  • Report Your Accident – Alert your employer immediately after your workplace accident occurs. You may also use this time to take pictures of the accident scene and get witness contact information. If you need emergency care and can’t remain on the premises, ask someone else you trust to report your accident for you. Don’t allow them to share any details of the accident that they may not be certain of. You can fill in all the details later.
  • Seek Medical Care – The North Carolina Industrial Commission suggests seeing an on-site medical professional if one is available. If not, your employer might tell you to seek care from a medical provider who treats their injured workers. If your employer doesn’t direct you to see a specific provider, seek care from a doctor of your choosing but keep your employer informed as to where you sought treatment.
  • Explain Your Injuries – Tell the medical care provider that your injuries are work-related and provide details. Give them the name and contact information of your employer as well. A healthcare provider may need this information to bill your treatment appropriately.
  • Provide Written Notice – Write a short letter in which you briefly describe the accident and when it occurred. If your injury developed over time, describe how you learned of it. File a copy of this letter with your employer within 30 days of your accident. Keep a copy for your own records as well.
  • Follow Medical Advice – Adhere to treatment plans the doctors recommend. Failing to do so could prevent you from receiving the benefits you would otherwise be eligible for.

Your employer should begin the workers’ compensation process almost immediately, provided you reported your accident according to the above instructions. Ask them if they need you to take additional steps to start the process.

In addition to the above, you should discuss your case with a workers’ compensation lawyer if your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company disputes your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Protect your rights by seeking legal representation.

What If My Hip Needs Surgery After a Workplace Accident?

Many hip injuries, such as those from falling, require surgical intervention to repair. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina cover medical treatment. If surgery is medically necessary, workers’ comp should pay for it.

Workers’ comp benefits also provide lost wages compensation. This is important, as you might be unable to work until you have recovered from surgery.

Top Work-Related Hip Injuries

Common hip injuries that workers could be at risk of are:

  • Labral Tears – A labral tear is an example of a hip injury that might develop over time due to repetitive motions. Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, a labral tear results from damage to the part of the hip holding the ball and socket together.
  • Hip Fractures – Direct trauma to the hip can cause the bones of the joint to break. A hip fracture or femur shaft fracture could limit a person’s mobility and keep them from working.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis – The aftermath of a hip fracture can lead to the development of arthritis, a degenerative ailment that is painful and reduces mobility.
  • Traumatic Subluxation and Dislocation – A person may sustain these injuries if blunt force trauma separates the femur from its position near the pelvic bone. Nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments in the area may also sustain harm when this happens.
  • Hip Bursitis – Bursae are fluid-filled sacs throughout the body. Their purpose is to reduce friction between joints. Inflammation of these sacs is called bursitis, which can occur as a result of a hip injury or repeated stress.

Seeking medical care is critical if you think you’ve developed a hip injury. Some common hip injuries, like stress fractures, get worse without proper treatment.

Seeing a doctor as soon as possible can also help when filing a workers’ comp claim. The insurance company may wish to see medical evidence showing a link between your job and your injury. Establishing this link is easier when you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Hip Injuries in the Workplace

Some of the most common causes of job-related hip injuries include:

  • Falls from heights
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Lack of proper safety equipment
  • Safety equipment failure
  • Being struck or crushed by heavy equipment
  • Lifting heavy items
  • Repetitive motions

You don’t have to work in an inherently dangerous environment to be at risk of a hip injury. Even a minor accident like a slip-and-fall could result in an injury requiring medical care. Such an accident could occur in virtually any workplace.

Types of Hip Injury Treatments

Proper treatment for a hip injury can vary depending on the specific nature of the injury. According to Penn Medicine, common hip injury treatment options are:

  • Medication and Rest – Some hip injuries heal on their own if patients get rest. While they do, their doctors may recommend they use medication to manage their pain. In some cases, over-the-counter medication is enough to reduce a patient’s discomfort. Other patients may require injections of corticosteroids or similar medications.
  • Supplements – Doctors sometimes recommend that hip injury patients take supplements to reduce pain and strengthen the hip.
  • Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy – Performing physical and occupational therapy exercises may help a patient recover from a hip injury quickly. Such exercises could also help a patient avoid placing excess strain on their hip again in the future.

Potential surgical treatments for work-related hip injuries are:

  • Labral Tear Repair – Doctors may use specialized tools and advanced surgical techniques to carefully repair small labral tears.
  • Bursae Removal – Surgery to remove inflamed bursae is sometimes necessary when they don’t respond to other treatments.
  • Partial Hip Replacement – A partial hip replacement is an option when the ball of the hip joint is damaged. A surgeon may replace it with an artificial hip ball.
  • Total Hip Replacement – Total hip replacement involves removing and replacing badly damaged hip tissues.
  • Fracture Repair – A surgeon may repair a hip fracture with screws, plates, and other implements. They might recommend joint replacement if the damage is fairly widespread.

As Penn Medicine notes, the surgical options available for hip injuries depend on the resources available to the doctors. If you have concerns about the quality of treatment you’re receiving, discuss this with your hip injury attorney. Our Raleigh law firm could help you navigate the workers’ comp system to gain access to the care you need.

Younce Vtipil Baznik & Banks personal injury law team

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers After You’ve Suffered a Hip Injury at Work

A Raleigh, NC, hip injury lawyer can assist with your workers’ comp claim by:

  • Completing paperwork so you can focus on other tasks during your recovery
  • Gathering evidence to show your injuries are work-related
  • Submitting your claim to the insurance company
  • Negotiating with the workers’ compensation insurance company for an appropriate settlement
  • Representing you at any necessary hearings

You deserve peace of mind as you recover from a work-related hip injury. Our workers’ compensation lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. are focused on helping you pursue all the medical benefits available for your work-related injury. We use a state-of-the-art case tracking system to give your case the attention it deserves and will always be available to answer your questions and respond to your concerns. Learn more about how we may help you when you contact us for a free consultation.

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