I wish I would have found this forum earlier, but I need your advice. I'm a teacher and a coach. During basketball practice, while instructing students on hiding the balls on layups, my hand collided with a player and I tore the ulnar collateral ligament completely from the bone in my right thumb (I'm right handed btw). I notified my principal that same night prior to heading to the ER. ER stated it was a sprain. I filled out an accident report form and a form 45 (I believe thats a workers comp form) when returning to work on Monday.
I also went to my GP later on in the week who referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon. Surgeon determined it was torn and I had surgery about 10 days after the incident to repair it. They inserted a pin and a button to fix the ligament.
After talking with my employer and teachers union, I decided to not take the workers compensation benefits for time off work, only the medical. Reason being that if I took Workers Comp benefits, I would not receive a years service credit for our states retirement system (because I would not have worked 180 days of work or been paid through the school district for 180 days of work, which is what a full year of service is in Illinois). What I didn't realize is how many doctors visits I would have and would have to take sick time for, but I guess I should have thought of that before making the decision.
Anyhow it is now 7 weeks after surgery, and I have completed 2 weeks of occupational therapy so far with minimal results. The insurance company is paying for OT as well. I now schedule my therapy sessions are evenings so I don't lose my sick days.
I have a 3-4 inch long and quite thick scar on my thumb from surgery, am I entitled to compensation for this permanent disfigurement?
Also am I entitled to a settlement for my injury for pain, suffering, and possible future medical costs, possible arthritis down the road, etc?
I just want to make sure I am receiving the benefits I should be and that I didn't make a mistake.
I would appreciate any and all opinions and advice.