A person involved in a workplace accident can experience various knee injuries, ranging from cuts and bruises to ligament and soft tissue tears. Some knee injury accidents may require long-term treatment, like surgery, physical therapy, or prescription pain management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, knee injuries are one of the most common types of workplace injuries. Many workers may be eligible for workers compensation benefits because of a knee injury that occurred in the workplace.
Elements of Knee Injuries
Several components make up the knee, including the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments connect to the bones surrounding the knee and provide balance and flexibility.
Within the knee, the meniscus protects the topmost point of the tibia and functions to absorb shock. Finally, the knee is surrounded by fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee as it moves. Each piece must properly work together for the knee to effectively serve you. Trauma can cause severe damage that can impact a person forever.
Knee injuries that result from workplace accidents can be severe. The ramifications of injury from falls, repetitive motion & strains, can mean missed time from work, loss of wages and medical bills. Additionally, it might take years to recover fully. Knee injuries sustained during a workplace accident can impact your life in unbeknownst ways.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
An ACL injury is a strain or tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, which helps connect your femur to your tibia. This type of injury often occurs in athletes and results from landing hard after jumping or falling from a height.
People who have torn or injured their ACL often hear a loud popping sound at the time of the accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, the doctor may recommend immediate surgery. Therefore, it is critical to get checked out by a medical professional immediately.
A meniscus tear affects the knee cartilage, which offers a cushion between the shinbone and the thigh bone. The injury often happens when the knee is twisted or rotated out of alignment.
Symptoms of a meniscus injury include pain, swelling, and trouble lengthening the knee are symptoms. A healthy meniscus provides support and stability to the knee when in motion. Often corrective surgery is required to correct this type of injury.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury
The posterior cruciate ligament connects the top and bottom of the leg at the back of the knee; it is a counterpoint to the ACL. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of this injury, and treatment can be both invasive and long-lasting.
Outcomes After a Knee Injury Accident
The severity of a knee injury depends on various factors like age and physical condition. While some superficial wounds can heal after time with proper medical care, some injuries result in the need for long-term rehabilitation and pain management.
Initially, doctors will require patients with knee injuries to rest, ice, compress and elevate their leg and knee. Still, if you are experiencing stability issues or having trouble walking, your doctor will likely call for tests to determine the exact injury.
Unfortunately, many knee injuries result in surgery. It is advisable to contact a care provider after suffering a knee injury accident for a thorough workup.
Workers Comp Benefits for Knee Injury
Workers compensation provides many types of benefits to injured workers, regardless of fault. These benefits include medical benefits, which pay for hospital and healthcare bills as a result of the injury or illness, as well as a portion of lost income for the period in which the employee cannot work. In New Jersey, workers compensation benefits are 70% of the workers’ weekly pay, up to the state maximum. For 2022, the maximum is $1065/week.
Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, workers compensation benefits can be temporary or permanent and may include the full benefit amount or a partial amount. For knee injuries, the benefit payments will also depend on the extent of the injury and your ability continue working. Potential benefit types include:
- Compensation for Medical Expenses: Covers medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation services and devices.
- Permanent Disability: If your injury leaves you unable to ever return to work, you can file a claim for permanent disability. Permanent disability may be partial or full, depending on the extent of the injuries.
- Temporary Disability: You may be able to receive 70 percent of the wages of your average weekly amount if your temporary disability claim is approved.
Get Help for your Workers Compensation Claim
If you have a knee injury due to an accident or chronic injury on the job or if your claim has been denied, it's in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced workers comp lawyer. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our team offers expertise in workers compensation and employment law. Our compassionate client care and tenacious negotiation can get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact us immediately for a free consultation to understand your options.