Knee injuries are actually one of the most common, challenging, and painful work injuries. Knee injuries tend to be slow to heal and can seriously interfere with your ability to do your job and continue living your life to the fullest.
If you’ve suffered a knee injury on the job, you’re very likely entitled to compensation and shouldn’t wait to discuss the matter with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney.
Why Work-Related Knee Injuries Are So Common
Our knees take the brunt of a lot of the work we do. Because they are load-bearing joints, our knees are involved in every step we take, and every time we lift something. Those jobs that involve a lot of standing, walking, kneeling, twisting, bending, or heavy lifting leave those who perform them more vulnerable to knee injuries.
In certain situations, however, even a desk job can lead to a knee injury, such as in the course of a slip and fall accident on the job.
If you experience any of the following in relation to your work, it’s time to seek the medical attention you need and inform your employer that you’ve suffered an injury on the job:
- Sharp pain anywhere on or near the knee
- Grinding in the knee joint
- A stiff knee joint
- An aching knee
Jobs that Are Most Closely Associated with Knee Injuries
While virtually anyone can sustain a workers’ comp knee injury at work, those jobs that are most closely associated with these painful injuries include the following:
- Nurses and other medical professionals
- Restaurant staff
- Janitors and house cleaners
- Factory and warehouse workers
- Construction workers
- Auto mechanics
The more physical your job is, the more likely a serious knee injury is to keep you out of work for a considerable amount of time – if not permanently.
Common Knee Injuries at Work
Every knee injury is unique to the person who experiences it, but most knee injuries that are sustained on the job fall into one of several basic categories.
Meniscus tears tend to be exceptionally painful and can leave the knee unstable. Often, the knee swells around the tear in an attempt to protect itself, which can intensify the pain and seriously impede movement. The repair of meniscus tears often requires arthroscopic surgery, and meniscus tear workers’ comp settlements are common.
A fractured kneecap is generally caused by an impact to the knee, which can be caused by a slip and fall accident on the job, by accidents involving driving machinery or vehicles, by accidents involving falling objects, and more. A fractured kneecap is generally slow to heal, leads to serious pain, and often requires surgery.
Chondromalacia refers to a softening of the cartilage in the kneecap, which can be caused by any of the following:
- Repetitive motion
- Traumatic injury
Each of these is common to jobs involving physical labor, and some of the common symptoms include:
- A dull ache at the front of the knee
- Pain that increases on stairs
- Intensified pain when kneeling or squatting
- A grinding effect with knee extension
Treatment generally involves extensive physical therapy, and realignment or arthroscopic surgery is sometimes required.
Compensation for Knee Injury at Work
An injury to your knee can seriously limit your ability to do your job, engage in many of the activities of daily living, and participate in the pastimes that bring you pleasure. In your workers’ compensation claim, you can seek compensation for all the following losses:
- Your necessary and covered medical expenses
- Your lost wages at a specific percentage of your pay
- Vocational rehab
- Payment for a knee injury that is identified as a permanent impairment
Your settlement amount will hinge on the losses you experience and how significantly your knee injury interferes with your ability to do your job.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Workers’ compensation insurance providers are paid to cover losses like yours, but they are also in the business of generating profits, which means they endeavor to keep settlements low. Your dedicated workers’ compensation attorney will skillfully take on all the following primary tasks in pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution:
- Gathering the evidence necessary to build your strongest claim, including your comprehensive medical files
- Ensuring that your filings are accurate and timely
- Keeping your claim organized and moving smoothly forward
- Advocating for the compensation to which you are entitled
- Carefully evaluating any settlement offers made by the insurance company in terms of how well they address your losses and needs
- Helping you objectively determine when it’s the right time to return to work while keeping your health and well-being at the forefront
Without the professional legal counsel of an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney, obtaining a fair settlement that supports your most complete recovery may be out of reach.
Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Comp Attorney for Help with Your Knee Injury Claim
A knee injury can seriously interfere with your job and your life. The trusted workers’ compensation attorneys at Horton & Mendez serve Wilmington and Leland, NC. We recognize the challenges you face and are committed to employing the full extent of our experience and legal skill to achieve your claim’s best possible resolution.
To learn more, send us a message online or call us at 910-415-1088 today.
Work-Related Knee Injury FAQs
How do I prove my knee injury is work-related?
Your skilled workers’ comp attorney will gather the necessary information and evidence to build your strongest claim, proving that your injury is work-related in the process – if its origin is in doubt.
Can’t I handle my own claim?
You are always better off with a savvy workers’ compensation attorney in your corner.
What can I do to protect my claim?
The most important steps you can take to protect your claim include seeking immediate medical attention, notifying your employer of your knee injury right away, and consulting with a practiced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can.