Degloving is a catastrophic type of injury where the top layers of skin and tissue are separated from the underlying structure of muscle, connective tissue, or bone. This is medically referred to as avulsion. The term degloving may suggest hand or finger injuries, but it can affect any body part.
Many degloving accidents are serious emergencies that require immediate procedures to prevent blood loss. A degloving injury usually requires multiple surgeries to repair, and extensive physiotherapy afterwards to recover. In some cases, amputation may be necessary. Degloving injuries to the hand are extremely painful because of the great number of nerves contained in this small area of the body.
Anyone who suffers a work-related degloving injury should seek the experienced Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to ensure they will receive the maximum compensation due to them for this often career-ending catastrophic injury.
There are two types of degloving injuries – open and closed.
An open degloving injury leaves the skin and tissue completely ripped away from the bone underneath, with the skin sometimes still attached near the wound. Open degloving injuries typically affect the hands, fingers, legs, torso, scalp, or face.
A closed degloving injury may not be readily apparent, except for a bruise. Therefore, diagnosis can be delayed in up to one-third of workers with this type of degloving injury. In a closed degloving injury the force of the accident separates the skin and tissue from the deeper tissues and bone, leaving a space under the skin that can fill with lymph fluid, blood, and fat.
These injuries occur most often at the top of the hip bone, but also in the areas of the lower spine, buttocks, torso, knees, and shoulder blades.
Workplace degloving accidents happen for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately most of them are preventable. Many workers spend their days operating or working around dangerous manufacturing equipment with nip and pinch points. Left unprotected, these can pull workers into the machinery.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict safety regulations and procedures regarding safety guards for such machinery.
Other causes of workplace degloving injuries include:
If you have suffered a degloving injury while on the job, your employer must pay for your Workers’ Compensation benefits. This type of catastrophic injury requires immediate treatment, which your employer must provide. It is important to tell the medical staff treating you that you were injured while on the job.
You may be eligible for some or all of the following Workers’ Compensation benefits, including:
Filing a claim for Workers’ Compensation can be complicated, with eligibility hinging on deadlines for submission. Unfortunately, not all employers are helpful and compliant during the process, because paying out claims tends to increase insurance rates. Despite good documentation and timely filing, you may still have to appeal a denial of claims.
Working with a knowledgeable Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyer who knows the system can help remove some of the stress, so that you can concentrate on your recovery.
If you have suffered a work-related degloving injury or another catastrophic injury, the Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Our experienced lawyers will advocate for you during this difficult time to ensure you get the medical treatment and compensation you need to recover. Call our Bear office at (302) 600-1107, our Milford office at (302) 422-6705, our Wilmington office at (302) 427-9500, or contact us online for a free initial consultation today. We serve clients throughout Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford.