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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Total Knee Replacement: Workers' Comp Settlement Guide

A knee injury at work can be one of the most devastating incidents for workers. This is because knee injuries can take months to heal properly, and in some cases, people won't be able to return to their jobs until they are back to full health. Insurance companies know that the healing process can be long, and that could mean having to pay a lot in workers' compensation.


Unfortunately, for those injured on the job, they won't just be able to focus on recovering from knee replacement surgery. They may have to file a personal injury lawsuit to be able to get the compensation that they're entitled to. What does fair compensation look like in these cases? That's exactly what this article is going to cover.


The Severity of the Knee Injury Will Highly Dictate the Compensation

The Severity of the Knee Injury Will Highly Dictate the Compensation


In a knee injury case, workers' compensation is heavily dictated by the severity of the incident itself. This doesn't mean, though, that if a person isn't getting a full knee replacement they won't be entitled to significant compensation. Workers' comp benefits are usually tied to forced, missed work days.


There are a couple of things that a person has to be able to prove in order to access adequate workers' comp. The first element is usually proving that the incident was, in fact, a workplace accident. If a person was in a car accident on their way to work or as part of their job, that could also qualify as a workplace incident.


Once the accident takes place, any knee injury claim will obviously require a medical evaluation. When there's a legal process involved, the person may be forced to have their knee evaluated by multiple professionals. Many insurance companies will try to prove that the worker had a pre-existing condition and that the incident just aggravated the situation.


This doesn't mean that someone with a pre-existing injury can't obtain compensation after a workplace knee injury. However, insurance companies are known for trying to find anything that they can to limit people's ability to receive workers' compensation benefits. It's important to know this when going into a personal injury case.


Is It a Good Idea to File a Personal Injury Claim When the Injury Isn't as Severe?


One of the biggest issues with knee injuries is that even if no surgery is required, the physical therapy and medical treatment that are required to get people back on their feet may take a long time. That could lead to many missed worked days. Also, the injured worker will probably want to ensure that their employer is the one paying for the medical treatment.


When injuries are not so severe, the insurance company that represents the employer may offer to work out a quick settlement. Sometimes, the employer will also encourage their workers to take the pay from the settlement so that the issue isn't escalated any further.


In these situations, the best way forward will be to have proper knee injury lawyers review the case. Many law firms offer a free consultation, so there's not much to lose for the workers who find themselves in this situation. With a free consultation, the worker can have a better understanding of their situation and potentially find a solution that works for them.


Does the Company Pay for Total Knee Replacement Surgery?


After severe knee injuries, will a company have to pay for their worker's full knee replacement surgery? In an ideal world, the answer would be yes, but unfortunately, insurance companies have gotten away with some pretty shady business deals in the past. If they get a physician to say that the best way forward is just physical therapy, then they could potentially only be on the hook to pay for those sessions.


Then, after a few sessions, if the treating physician deems that maximum medical improvement has been reached, the insurance company could legally not have to pay for more doctor visits. The situation that was just described may seem like something out of a movie where the insurance company is painted as the villain. People would be surprised, though, if they saw all of the tricks that some of these companies have up their sleeves.


It's not that every insurance company under the sun has access to a shady doctor that will allow them to perpetrate these schemes. In some cases, the need for total knee replacement surgery is clear, and the insurance company will have no choice but to cover the procedure. The company, though, may get more rigid when workers' compensation talks arise.


Many injured employees want to avoid filing claims over a work-related injury because they don't want to get on their employer's bad side. It's important to keep in mind, though, in most cases it's the insurance company that people will battle in court. Getting fair workers' compensation is something that injured workers are entitled to and, therefore, should pursue.


Steps Towards Getting Adequate Compensation in a Knee Injury Case


When someone suffers a knee injury at work or on their way to work, it can be the beginning of a long and hard process. Typically right after the accident, the person will be taken to a doctor who's going to provide the initial diagnosis. At this point everyone involved will know the extent of the knee injury and the steps that come next.


If a need for total knee replacement is the diagnosis, surgery may be programmed within the next few weeks or days. The injured worker or their family should get in touch with a workers comp law firm in Columbus early on in this process. From the moment that a person steps into the hospital, medical bills are going to start to pile up.


Injured workers never want to find themselves in a position where they're forced to take a quick settlement from the insurance company because their medical expenses are already through the roof. Once a lawyer is involved on the side of the worker, the first thing that will happen is that the worker will have more options. It's always going to be easier to achieve maximum workers' compensation when a lawyer is involved early in the process.


It's important to point out that not all of the claims that are filed will lead to a long court battle. One of the main reasons why people are afraid to file a lawsuit is because they feel it's going to take longer for them to see any benefits. Anyone who has doubts about the process should definitely contact a lawyer. Who can also give details on a finger injury workers comp settlement.


Is There a Limit to Workers' Compensation When Knee Injuries Are Involved?


This is one of the more common questions that people have. There's technically no legal limit to workers' compensation benefits when suffering a work-related knee injury. How much a person earns is also one of the factors that impact compensation.


When someone suffers an injury at work, they are entitled to be compensated for lost wages. These are usually the days that they were unable to work because of their accident. Higher-earning workers are naturally going to be entitled to more money, plus the medical expenses that result from potential knee surgery.


Most insurance companies want to ensure that people will reach maximum medical improvement quickly. This can be one of the hottest debate points in a potential court case. When someone has reached maximum medical improvement, that's going to put a limit on the medical costs that an insurance company can be held liable for.


While there are not necessarily set limits on the amount of money that a person can receive in compensation, there's always a back-and-forth on the issue. That's why it's very important to hire the right legal team to oversee the situation.


How Long Do These Cases Typically Take?


The severity of the knee injuries will typically have a major hand in determining how long a case can potentially take. According to government documents, since the early 2000s, cases involving permanent partial disability benefits for the worker took about three years to settle. When the knee injury is not as severe, the length of the case usually shortens.


Insurance carriers typically won't be willing to drag along a case where the injuries are not debilitating, even if they involve knee joint issues, for that long. Even in situations where knee replacement surgery is needed, insurance companies know it's going to be hard for them to get out of paying for medical treatment. If they can get that employee back to work as soon as possible, that also lowers the lost wages payments.


Knee injuries are typically going to take a long time to heal. With surgery, the healing time can range anywhere from six to eight months or more. When a workers' compensation claim is filed around the time the injury occurs, the matter can be settled right around when the person is ready to go back to work.


Each situation is going to be unique, and certain insurance companies are known for being very rough with workers' compensation claims. In most instances, though, both the insurance company and the employer would rather settle the matter "quickly." Knee injuries are unique in that people who suffer from them are typically not in a hurry to get back to work.


Best Ways to Ensure Fair Workers Compensation in a Knee Injury Case


There are two elements that are essential to obtaining fair workers' compensation when knee injuries are involved. The first one is to get legal counsel early in the process. Doing that will usually lead to promptly filing a workers' compensation claim almost as soon as the injury happens.


Why is timing so important in these situations where there's a knee injury as a result of an accident? As with any case, the attorneys on the employees' side need to gather evidence to build their argument. Allowing the case to go cold will only make it harder for them to collect the information that they need.


Another reason why timing is everything, especially when there's a knee injury involved, is because the case can play out during the recovery period. This gives injured workers a bit more leverage on the insurance companies. Employees never want to be in a situation where they are well enough to work but can't do so because of an impending legal process.


When employees are ready to get back to work, they are likely going to accept lower workers' compensation just so that they don't lose their job. If the person still needs to recover from the knee injury, they have more time to wait the case out and obtain a better settlement amount.


Working with the Right Workers' Compensation Lawyers is Essential

Working with the Right Workers' Compensation Lawyers is Essential


What happens when the timing is off in any part of the legal situation after a work-related injury? It's still essential to work with the right workers' compensation lawyers to get a fair deal. In fact, it could be even more important to hire the right help when some time has passed after the incident.


There are people who accept settlement offers from the insurance company yet are still able to achieve better compensation with the right legal help. What some people fail to understand is that looking for legal counsel is just going to provide them with more options.


To be able to access a fair knee injury settlement, the employee needs to have as much leverage as they can collect. That's again one of the main reasons why timing is so important. Even if some time has passed after the injury, it's still a good idea to seek legal help, especially if the person feels that they didn't obtain proper settlement value.


Key Points to Know What a Good Workers' Compensation Settlement Is after a Knee Injury


How can someone know that they are receiving fair workers' compensation after going through knee replacement surgery? If their medical care expenses are paid for, that's a good start. Anyone who can get compensation for future medical needs probably also negotiated a good deal.


Ideally, a person should also able to receive compensation for lost wages. The wage loss situation is typically easier to negotiate because there are set legal guidelines for this type of situation. If those two things are covered, then fair workers' compensation should be received.


Any type of extra help with medical costs, as mentioned before, is greatly appreciated. In most cases, insurance companies are only going to pay what they're legally obligated to.

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