Knee injuries are among the more common and serious types of workplace injuries in various industries. From busy construction sites to quiet offices, on-the-job knee injuries can and do happen, oftentimes in a slip-and-fall accident. It is so important for workers to know that they can get workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a knee injury at work – but obtaining those benefits is not always easy. To pursue a fair workers’ comp settlement for a knee injury, you should probably start by talking with an attorney.
What is a Fair Knee Injury Workers’ Comp Settlement?
You are probably wondering what sort of settlement or compensation amount you can get after a workplace knee injury leaves you debilitated. There is no straightforward answer or completely accurate way to predict what your settlement will look like, though. The value of your claim depends on numerous factors, including the severity of your knee injury, your usual wages, and more.
However, when workers’ compensation functions as intended, you should be able to receive all necessary medical treatments for your knee, including surgeries, without a cent coming out of your own pocket. If you miss an extended amount of work – at least 7 days in many states – due to your knee injury causes you new debilitations or disabilities, then you should also qualify for wage replacement benefits. Your average pre-injury wages will be calculated, and you can receive 2/3 of that amount for each week you miss work.
If you are aiming to get a workers’ compensation claim settlement, then its total needs to be representative of all of your missing wages and medical costs. Calculating that amount will be easier with the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who knows common insurance company tactics to avoid paying claimants.
Medical Costs Can Get Complicated
Some knee injuries are difficult to treat due to the complexity of the knee joint. Tears to certain tendons or displacements of the patella, for example, can make traditional recovery methods like bedrest unsuitable and insufficient. Instead, surgeries, years of physical therapy, prescription drugs, and more might be required to restore mobility in the injured knee.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies are likely to fight fiercely if your knee injury requires medical treatments beyond what they usually expect to see in such a case. The policy only covers “necessary” medical care, which is sometimes translated to mean “traditional.” The insurance company will probably try to deny payments for any treatments that could be argued as elective or experimental, like knee surgery or using a new medication, because they are not, by medical definitions, necessary.
What this gray area in medical definitions means for your workers’ compensation knee injury claim is that big medical costs you were certain would be covered could be pinned onto you. If you are not ready to fight for a settlement with a workers’ comp attorney, then you could be left with those bills coming out of your own healthcare insurance policy or savings accounts.
Knee Injuries & Preexisting Conditions
The extent of disability caused by a knee injury is dependent on each individual patient. For example, a younger person with no history of knee or leg injuries might be able to recover quickly from a knee sprain and start walking like normal again in a matter of weeks. On the other hand, someone who is older could take much, much longer to get back to walking without assistance again.
Insurance companies also like to use these knee injury variables to try to get out of paying full and fair compensation to a workers’ comp claimant. It is particularly common for insurers to blame the disabling nature of a work-related knee injury on a preexisting medical condition. If the disabilities caused by a knee injury can be traced back to an issue that existed before the workplace accident, then the insurer could be excused from providing care and wages related to the claimant’s disability, which means you can expect an insurer will fight to do just that.
Hire a Workers’ Comp Knee Injury Lawyer Today
Standing up to an insurance company – both literally and figuratively – will be difficult if you are suffering the consequences of a bad on-the-job knee injury. To make the situation much easier on yourself, it is recommended that you speak with a local workers’ compensation attorney shortly after your workplace accident. You can give them permission to act on your behalf throughout your knee injury claim, from initial filings and hearings to denials and litigation. All the while, you can rest and focus on your recuperation.
The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC offers comprehensive legal services to injured workers throughout Atlanta, Georgia and from all industries. Do not hesitate to call our attorneys at (770) 629-9321 now if you hurt your knee at work and now need help securing the workers’ comp benefits you need to rest comfortably.