As per the Governor's shut down we are working remotely, however rest assured that we are still working to protect your rights! Please email us at dbrilliant@bnlegal.com for Dina Brilliant and gneiman@bnlegal.com for Glenn Neiman or call us at (215) 638-7500 and leave a message as we are checking our messages.

A new Frequently Asked Question has been, "I have the Coronavirus, can I get workers' compensation benefits?" The answer is that, yes, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits depending on the facts. This can be whether you have contracted COVID-19 through work, or whether you have lost a modified duty job through an employer closing or layoff. Email or call us to discuss the specifics of your case in regard to the Coronavirus or any other work injury.

Contusions or Bruises Can Be Serious Injuries in PA Workers’ Compensation

How many times must an injured worker in PA hear something like, “Why are you still out of work – it was just a bruise?”  What is not widely understood is that a bruise, or a contusion, can, indeed, be a serious injury with very severe consequences.  Recently, we saw an example of this in the sports world.

Tyler Lockett, a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, suffered a bruised lower leg in a game on November 11, 2019.  According to an article in the Washington Post, Mr. Lockett was hospitalized overnight as a result of the injury.  In addition to causing pain and immobility, a bruise or contusion can also cause swelling.  This swelling, when in a small area, such as a lower leg, can instigate “compartment syndrome.”  According to the article, “Compartment syndrome is a rare but potentially dangerous condition in which pressure builds to extreme levels in a limb after it undergoes some sort of trauma, either from a big hit or simple exercise.”

On the website for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), it is reiterated that compartment syndrome can result from badly bruising a muscle, which we do often see in PA workers’ compensation cases.  When this compartment syndrome is the result of acute trauma, it is a medical emergency.  Immediate treatment is necessary to avoid permanent damage to muscle, nerve and tissue.  There is no non-surgical treatment for compartment syndrome.  Specifically, the treatment involved would be:

Your doctor will make an incision and cut open the skin and fascia covering the affected compartment. This procedure is called a fasciotomy.  Sometimes, the swelling can be severe enough that the skin incision cannot be closed immediately. The incision is surgically repaired when swelling subsides. Sometimes a skin graft is used.”

Note that the bruising or contusion can be severe even if there is no compartment syndrome.  Mr. Lockett was hospitalized despite there not being compartment syndrome.  So, the next time you see an injured worker with a bruise or contusion, take a moment to consider that this is not “just” a bruise or contusion, but an injury that can be significant.

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