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How Long Should I Be Off Work with Broken Ribs?

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

If you or a loved one has fractured a bone from an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer at Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation so we can help you recover from this experience and get fairly compensated.

Rib fractures may make daily activities difficult and/or painful and may make your job impossible, depending on the level of activity that it requires. The range of time that people return to work after suffering a broken rib varies greatly since all rib fractures vary, as well. Generally speaking, broken ribs heal within about six weeks. However, a number of people find it manageable to return to work before the six weeks are up. The most reliable indicator of when you can return to work after a rib fracture is by going by what your doctor tells you about your condition.

If your job requires manual, physical labor, frequent or sudden movements, then it would likely be best to wait a longer time to be on the safe side and avoid exacerbating the rib fracture. Whereas if you have a desk job or a sedentary job, you may find it easier to return to work sooner. It all depends on the treatment and recovery advice that your doctor gives you according to your broken rib injury and its progress.

Understanding the Severity and Recovery Process for Rib Fractures

Broken ribs are the kind of injury that results from a traumatic event. The most common causes for broken ribs are car accidents, playing contact sports, or falls in the workplace, such as at a construction site. If you have a broken rib, you’re bound to notice as it will be painful, especially when you try to take a deep breath. Severe coughing or turning your torso may also result in more pain, and the area is bound to have bruising and feel tender to the touch.

A fractured rib isn’t something that happens without some kind of impact. If you were recently in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or a construction accident, you should make sure you get medical treatment to check for broken ribs and other fractures. Broken bones in your chest cavity can additionally pose danger to your internal organs such as your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen. If there is a chance that you have a broken rib, it is imperative that you go to the emergency room as you will run an increased risk for puncturing other organs that are usually protected by your ribs. You’ll likely need an x-ray along with an MRI to check your lungs and surrounding organs in your chest for damage.

The treatment you’ll receive for broken ribs will depend on the extent of the damage. If you have no other injuries to your organs, you will merely be required to rest and apply an ice pack to the injured area. Over the counter pain relief medications can be used to reduce your symptoms. Additionally, deep breathing exercises will be required to prevent pneumonia from developing in your lungs.

In more serious cases, surgery or bone grafting may be needed to repair broken ribs. Symptoms should improve within a few weeks, though if you get any chest infections, have trouble breathing, or experience pain worse than before, you should call your healthcare provider immediately.

Which Factors May Affect the Duration of Time Off Work for a Rib Fracture?

Even though getting the news that you have a broken bone, especially when it’s one or more of your ribs, is not what you may have hoped to hear, the good news is that you will likely make a full recovery. The length of time it will take for your ribs to heal will vary depending on other factors. If your internal organs also incurred damage, you may require a longer recovery period.

Generally speaking, ribs that sustain fractures should heal naturally in about six weeks. If you broke a rib without any other injuries to your upper body or chest, you may not need much time off from work, especially if you work in a sedentary office setting. However, if your job requires you to engage in manual labor or lift heavy objects, your doctor will advise you on when you can return to work.

Additionally, your healthcare provider will most likely encourage you to stay active, though you’ll need to avoid contact sports. You will be given instructions on exercises that will help your healing process.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention and Documenting Your Rib Injuries

If you experienced a direct impact to the chest during an accident of any kind, prompt medical attention is required. You must go to the hospital and have medical professionals check you to look for a broken bone or ribs along with other potential injuries. In the event that you have a fracture in one of your ribs, documenting these injuries is essential if you plan to file a personal injury claim.

You may be entitled to recover compensation for injuries to the ribs if someone else’s negligent actions were the cause of your broken ribs. With medical records of your diagnosis and treatments clearly established, this valuable piece of evidence can help prove your case. While medical professionals work to help you heal, Agruss Law Firm, LLC will help you navigate the legal process to hold the at-fault parties liable for your financial losses resulting from this event.

Understanding Your Legal Rights and Options for Compensation After a Broken Rib

If someone else caused your injuries because they were careless or negligent, your lawsuit will help you recover compensation. Illinois follows an at-fault model for car insurance, which holds the responsible party accountable for damages caused to the injured party. However, since the laws also follow a modified comparative negligence model, it isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The insurance company will actively look for ways to reduce the payout for your injuries. They may call to get your side of the story. They’ll even sound sympathetic, though you are not obligated to speak to the other driver’s insurer. In fact, it is recommended that you hire an attorney to represent you even during the initial accident claim process to protect your legal rights.

Many injured victims wind up losing out on maximum compensation because the insurance company used their recorded statement against them. They can twist your words and make it seem as though you had more fault in your injuries, which would result in a lower settlement. If they assign you more than 50% of the blame, you will be legally barred from seeking financial recovery.

Without getting this money, you will be left with a mountain of medical bills for those x-rays and other imaging tests, medications to reduce pain, follow-up visits, and other expenses associated with your medical care for your broken rib. You will not be able to recover compensation for the days you were unable to work or the benefits you needed to use to take time off of work.

The way to avoid this is by hiring an attorney who will advocate for your legal rights and represent you with complete compassion. We see you as a person, not just a client – and that makes us better at work we do. We listen. We learn your story. And, as we help you get the money you deserve, we go above and beyond in a way most law firms never could and never would. Because we’re not just lawyers. And you’re not just a client. We’re friends, neighbors, family. We’re all people and here at Mike Agruss Law, we put People, First.

Helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people, not the powerful, we will take care of the insurance adjusters, your medical bills, your property damage, and your lost wages, and monitor your treatment so you can focus on healing and getting your life back to normal after your ribs were injured by way of someone else’s negligence. Our unique formula has earned us over 1,000 outstanding client reviews on our website, an A+ BBB rating, and over 135 five-star reviews on Google. Call 888-572-0176, e-mail us at [email protected] or schedule a meeting with us here. We’re here 24/7 for all personal injuries and workplace accidents services at Agruss Law Firm, LLC.

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