When you have a knee injury, you quickly learn just how much you use your knees every day. Bending, sitting, standing, and squatting are all normal movements that can wear down your knees. Physically demanding jobs can make people more prone to knee injuries while at work, but a knee injury can happen almost anywhere.
If you’ve injured your knee at work, you might be able to get workers’ compensation benefits. However, the process of claiming these benefits can be complicated if your employer disputes the cause or severity of your injury.
Common Causes and Signs of Knee Injuries
Knee injuries in the workplace can be caused by:
- Standing or walking. Even if your job isn’t physically strenuous, if it requires you to stand or walk all day on hard surfaces, this can eventually cause knee cartilage to degenerate.
- Slip and falls. These can happen anywhere, but they are particularly common with construction workers. A simple fall down a couple of steps can cause trauma to the knee, including cartilage damage, kneecap dislocation, and fractures.
- Banging your knee on objects. Banging your knee on work equipment while performing your job causes many knee injuries in the workplace.
Some signs of a knee injury to watch for include pain and swelling. It’s best not to put off treatment. Most knee injuries are diagnosed by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam. Sometimes, an x-ray or MRI might be ordered by your physician.
How Knee Injuries Can Keep You From Working in North Carolina
When you hurt your knee, the worst thing you can do is go back to your normal activities without proper rest. Doing so can worsen your injury and cause even bigger problems.
Unless your injury is severe, most doctors will recommend the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Keeping your leg iced and elevated will let more blood flow into the area and promote healing.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Might Get for a Knee Injury
With North Carolina workers’ compensation, you might be eligible for the following benefits:
- Replacement of your lost wages. By law, if you are unable to do your work because of a work-related injury, you will be entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly pay. These benefits are tax-free and will cease once you can return to work.
- Payment of all approved medical expenses related to your injury. Your employer will pay these directly to your medical provider.
- Compensation if you are permanently impaired because of your injury. If the damage to your knee is permanent, you will be compensated depending on the extent of the damage.
What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Do
If you have injured your knee because of a condition or accident that developed at work, we can help ensure you get the benefits you deserve. North Carolina workers’ compensation law is complex and confusing. Common Workers' Compensation terms like temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, permanent and total disability benefits, and workers’ compensation settlements can be difficult to understand. It is easy to make costly legal mistakes when you don’t know what you are doing.
It’s crucial that you know workers’ compensation insurance companies are not on your side. Their goal is to pay out as little money as possible after you suffer a workplace injury. It's not uncommon for the insurance company to try to claim you had pre-existing knee problems, that your injury isn't work-related, or that you're not as seriously hurt as you believe. You need to have a lawyer who can advocate for your interests to ensure you get the compensation and access to medical care you deserve.
Focus on recovering from your injury, and we can help with the legal aspects of your case. Schedule your free consultation today so we can review the details of your workers' compensation claim.