Being injured on-the-job can be frustrating. Physical injuries themselves are difficult to deal with, especially if time-off is required in order to fully recover. Though this time off is necessary, it can have a financial impact on an injured worker’s family. During the recovery period, the worker may not be able to do his job and will lose wages.
Workers’ compensation can help with those financial challenges that a worker may face. But obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is not always a simple task. In fact, one woman discovered that she had to seek help to try and get these benefits through her husband’s employer.
Her husband, a resident of Durango, is currently recovering in a Denver hospital after surviving a battle with an uncommon flesh-eating bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis. The infection attacked his skin, fat, and muscles in his right leg. It typically enters the human body through cuts or bruises; in this particular instance it is unclear how he contracted the infection.
The man first noticed something awry with his leg when he stood up and his knee popped while working at Home Depot. But it got worse; the next day he called his wife from work and was unable to speak clearly. He was shaking and had a fever.
The man was brought to a local medical center where a doctor thought he had the flu and sent him home with some painkillers. The following day, a workers’ compensation doctor analyzed fluid taken from the man’s knee and requested that he be readmitted to the hospital. A few days later an MRI scan revealed that the infection was the flesh-eating bacteria.
Since then the man has been put into a medically induced coma, undergone several skin grafts, and endures physical therapy two times a week. For a man who had been very physically active, a long period of recovery is frustrating to think about. Hopefully he will be able to obtain workers’ compensation while he is unable to perform his job functions. The benefits will not heal his body, but they can help pay the medical bills that are continuing to grow.
Source: The Durango Herald, “Man recovering from flesh-eating bacteria,” Dale Rodebaugh, 02 April 2011