Visitor Question

What to do after trailer crushed my hand causing permanent damage?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Escondido, California)

While working this year 2018, I was unloading a dump trailer and instead of going up, it came down crushing my left hand. The trailer has been malfunctioning even before I started working at the company.

I went to the emergency room and they determined I broke my pinky and ring finger on my left hand and needed surgery immediately. I was in the hospital from Monday to Wednesday. I have 2 pins on my hand and 3 on my fingers.

I will be needing physical therapy after they take the pins out. The doctor is about 35 miles away one way. I am receiving workers comp at the moment.

I was told by my doctor that I will most likely not be able to make a full grip again and not regain full mobility of the two fingers. I have multiple scarring, swelling, and indents on my fingers from the dump trunk. I was given codeine, fentanyl, ibuprofen, tramadol, and hydrocodone for the pain.

My question is, what is the next step when it comes to workers comp? Should I hire a lawyer or should I do this all on my own? What am I entitled to? What settlements or claims should I think about?

I’ve been the only provider for my family of five and just had a newborn a week after my injury. It has taken a toll on me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

As an injured California worker you are entitled to the medical care you need after your injury. That care can include doctor visits and other treatment services, tests, medicines, equipment, and travel costs reasonably necessary to treat your injury.

In most cases, and where possible, the medical care provided is meant to return you to your job duties as soon as practically possible.

However, in cases like yours, where it has been medically determined you “…most likely not be able to make a full grip again and not regain full mobility of the two fingers,” you may be entitled to additional Disability Compensation.

There are three basic forms of Disability Compensation in California:

  1. Temporary Disability Benefits: Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering.
  2. Permanent Disability Benefits: Payments if you don’t recover completely and your injury causes a permanent loss of physical or mental function that a doctor can measure.
  3. Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits. This type of benefit comes in the form of a Voucher and is intended  to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you are eligible to receive permanent disability benefits, your employer doesn’t offer you work, and you don’t return to work for your employer.

It is always a good idea to consult with a workers compensation attorney when injuries are so serious as to cause a disability.

Just because you speak with an attorney doesn’t mean you are obligated to retain one. In fact, most workers compensation attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.

After visiting with several attorneys you will have a better idea of the viability of your claim, and its expected outcome. Moreover, you will not have to pay any attorneys fees, until and unless the attorney prevails in settling your claim.

Learn more here: Worker Partial Disability Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim,

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