Knee Injuries & Workers’ Comp Claims
Knee injuries are among the most common and most debilitating injuries in the workplace.
Workplace knee injuries account for roughly 150,000 of annual workplace injuries nationwide according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s more than 13% of all injuries. Data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry also demonstrates that knee injuries were responsible for 8.2% of all Pennsylvania workplace injuries in 2018, impacting 14,216 workers.
Employees who have suffered a workplace knee injury should consider their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. When doing so, it is very important to understand the specific types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, the process for filing a workers’ compensation claim, the amount of compensation to expect based on the severity of the injury, and the role an attorney can play in the claims process.
Can I File for Workers’ Compensation Because of a Knee Injury?
Yes. Employees who experience a workplace knee injury may be eligible for filing workers’ compensation and receiving benefits.
Common workplace knee injuries eligible for workers’ compensation include:
- Torn ligaments
- Cartilage injuries
- Tendon injuries
How Can I Make a Knee Injury Claim?
Most employees who’ve recently suffered a workplace knee injury are focused primarily on their care and treatment. However, it is also imperative to ensure that all actions following a workplace injury adhere to the Pennsylvania worker’s compensation filing guidelines, as they play a determinative role in your workers’ compensation eligibility and award amounts.
To properly file a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania, a recently injured employee must:
1. Report the injury to your employer.
Immediately after a work-related knee injury, you must report an injury to your employer within the first 21 days of injury to ensure that benefits are awarded retroactively from the date of injury. If a report is not made within the first 21 days, you may still report your injuries within 120 days of the injury, however, benefits will only be awarded from the date of reporting.
2. Seek medical attention and tell your doctor that the injury is work-related.
Following a workplace injury, you must seek medical treatment within the first 90 days of notice to your employer. In certain instances, an employer will have you choose a doctor from a list of employer-approved medical providers (as is normally required under Pennsylvania law). After 90 days, you may choose any medical provider you wish.
Informing your medical provider that your knee injury was the result of workplace activity is an essential component of the workers’ compensation claims process. By doing so, you ensure that both your report to your employer and subsequent medical documentation reflect the injury’s relationship to your work.
3. File your workers’ compensation claim
The filing stage of the process beings after your employer submits their First Report of Injury to the state. Pennsylvania law provides injured employees a three-year filing window from the date of injury to file a claim and maintain their eligibility.
It is highly recommended to consult with a workers’ comp attorney during this process to maximize your benefits and ensure your claim is filed properly.
How Common is a Knee Injury at Work?
Of all workplace injuries, knee injuries account for roughly 1 in 8 on the national level and 1 in 12 in Pennsylvania.
Positively, however, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) data, workplace injuries overall have consistently declined over the last two decades and have decreased year over year for the last six years.
Are Knee Injuries Common in Certain Industries?
Because of their relationship to overexertion and overuse, industries with the highest probability of workplace knee injuries are:
- Construction (Laborers and Freighters)
- Manufacturing (Stock and Material Movers)
- Trade and Transportation (Retail and Truck Drivers)
- Health Care (Nursing and Ambulatory Staff)
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Get?
Employees involved in workplace accidents, or other circumstances resulting in knee injuries, are eligible for a wide range of workers’ compensation benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, including:
- Replacement of lost wages (weekly installments or a lump-sum settlement)
- Payment of all medical expenses resulting from the injury
- Specific loss benefits (loss of limb/use of limb)
- Disfigurement benefits
- Subsequent injury benefits
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees who suffer workplace injuries are afforded financial protections in the form of replacement of lost wages, full medical treatment coverage, and specific loss benefits throughout their recovery.
The benefits that an injured employee will receive are largely determined by the type and severity of the injury they suffered, as well as the time they’re unable to return to work.
How Much Compensation Should I Expect for Knee Injuries at Work?
As stipulated by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act guidelines, weekly compensation loss benefits are provided at between 66.6% and 90% of average weekly wage (AWW) and capped at $1,025.00 per week.
Workers’ compensation benefits are generally determined by:
- Severity and classification of the injury
- Wage loss from the injury
- Medical expenses
The average cost of a workplace knee-injury worker’s compensation claim is $32,622 (in medical expenses and lost wages), according to data from the National Safety Council (NSC). These costs will be the primary focus and tool used in workers’ comp lump-sum settlement negotiations.
Below is a table of estimated settlement amounts based on the NSC claim cost average for knee injuries.
|Severity of Knee Injury||Estimated Settlement Amounts||Types of Injury|
|Mild||$1,000 – $21,748||Contusions, bursitis, tendonitis, etc.|
|Moderate to Severe||$21,748- $32,622||Fractures, minor tears, sprains, strains, etc..|
|Extremely Severe||$32,622 (+)||Torn ligaments (ACL, MCL, LCL), amputations, loss of use, etc.|
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Knee Injury Claims
After a workplace knee injury, it is very important to work with a qualified and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to guarantee your workers’ compensation eligibility, to ensure your claim is filed correctly and to maximize your compensation benefits.
The attorneys at Krasno, Krasno, & Onwudinjo are here to assist you in all aspects of your knee injury workers’ compensation claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today via email or call us at (844) 243-4849 or toll-free at 877-794-2396.