Diagnosing and Treating Work-Related Knee Injuries
Various kinds of knee injuries affect hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. They range from very mild to almost debilitating. Many of these injuries are work-related. Falls are one of the leading causes of knee injuries. Many of these falls occur in offices, when people trip over loose carpet or hit open desk drawers. Additionally, many jobs require repetitive bending, kneeling, and stooping. These activities are very hard on the knees.
In these situations, a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney might be able to obtain no-fault insurance benefits which cover lost wages, medical bills, and other economic losses. Initially, Claims Examiners routinely deny these claims. The outcome is usually much different at a subsequent administrative law hearing.
Strict reporting deadlines apply in most workers’ compensation claims. These deadlines are rather easy to meet, if the claim is trauma-related. Most people know to immediately report such incidents to their supervisor. A Facebook post or other general notice might not be legally sufficient.
Occupational diseases, like joint pain which develops over time, are a different story. Most people do not go see the doctor as soon as they feel twinges in their knees. As a result, by the time they report the injury, the claims deadline has passed.
A variation of the discovery rule protects these victims. Until work injury victims learn the full extent of their injuries and they connect those injuries to their work environments, they are not legally required to file claims.
In both these situations, even if you believe the injury is minor, it’s always best to file a claim straightaway. You never know how badly you are hurt until a doctor evaluates your knee. Furthermore, it’s illegal to discriminate against people who file workers’ compensation claims. Finally, if the need arises, you can always withdraw the claim later.
There are over a dozen major kinds of knee injuries. They all have similar symptoms, normally pain, swelling, and stiffness. Furthermore, they all look roughly the same on an X-ray photo or other diagnostic test result, at least to the semi-trained eye.
Louisiana job injury victims may choose their own doctors. That possibility makes a big difference in situations like this one. Work-related knee injury victims can promptly see knee injury professionals. These individuals know how to identify the different types of knee injuries without running test after test. Perhaps more importantly, they know how to treat these injuries. That insight helps these victims get back to work as soon as possible.
Knee injury treatment varies significantly, mostly depending on the nature and severity of the injury.
In a few cases, rest is the best possible treatment. A few weeks of light duty or no work at all could financially cripple many families. Workers’ compensation usually pays two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage during this period, so these families can keep their heads above water.
Other times, doctors use a combination of injections, oral medication, and physical therapy to treat the injury. These treatments are usually very aggressive for a few weeks, then they taper off as the patient improves.
Surgery might be necessary in some cases. That’s especially true if the victim has an occupational disease-related knee injury that has gone untreated for quite some time. Some doctors always recommend surgery, mostly for financial reasons. Our lawyers partner with doctors who recommend the most conservative, and most effective, treatment regimen available, regardless of cost.
Count on a Hard-Working Attorney
Work-related knee injuries required highly specialized medical attention. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New Orleans, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.