Does Workers’ Comp Cover Knee Injuries?
Serious knee injuries are among the most common and most limiting kinds of physical injuries. Almost seven million Americans experience severe knee pain every year. Furthermore, these injuries are not just physical. Knee pain makes most physical activities difficult or impossible. That includes everything from running a 5k to cleaning the kitchen.
These individuals need money to pay medical bills and replace lost wages, and a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney can obtain that money. Frequently, additional compensation is available as well. Nonsubscriber cases are a good example. Many vehicle owners consider insurance an unnecessary cost, and many employers feel the same way about workers’ compensation insurance. If the victim’s employer had no insurance, other legal options are available.
Falls cause most knee injuries. Contrary to popular myth, outdoor “blue collar” workers are not the only people at risk for such injuries. In fact, indoor “white collar” workers are more prone to knee injuries. These individuals often trip over loose carpet, stumble over uneven surfaces, or bang into file cabinets or open drawers.
Furthermore, office worker injuries are frequently more serious. Warehouse and other such workers often wear knee pads or other safety equipment. But white collar workers never think of taking such precautions, and their employers never think about providing them.
For both blue collar and white collar workers, a serious knee injury could mean several weeks or months without a paycheck. Since most Louisiana families live hand to mouth, the loss of income could be devastating.
So, workers’ compensation replaces two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wages for the duration of a temporary disability. The wage replacement benefit could last up to 520 weeks. That’s usually plenty of time for victims to fully recover range of motion.
If the knee injury causes a permanent disability, many victims receive lump-sum payouts. Like regular wage replacement, victims do not need to prove fault or negligence to receive such benefits.
Occupational Disease Injuries
Other knee injuries occur slowly over time. Blue collar workers often spend most of their days carrying heavy items, stooping, and kneeling. Over time, these movements take a toll on muscles and joints, particularly the knees. The resulting injury could be as bad as, or even worse than, a trauma injury.
Most occupational disease victims do not immediately report their injuries and see doctors. Instead, they try to work through the pain. This approach might last for several months or even several years. But eventually, the knee pain becomes too great.
By the time that happens, the claims deadline has usually passed. But a variation of the delayed discovery rule protects these victims. Occupational disease sufferers need not report their injuries until they know the full extent of damage and they connect their injuries to their work environments.
Once workers’ compensation kicks in, this no-fault insurance takes care of all reasonably necessary medical expenses. That category includes emergency care, follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy, and ancillary medical costs, like transportation.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Attorney
No matter how they happen, knee injury victims might be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New Orleans, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Louisiana and Mississippi.