Knee injuries can often occur in workplaces, especially when employees perform physical tasks, such as driving or heavy lifting.
People who suffer from job-related injuries may be able to get some benefits through workers' compensation.
These benefits, which may include medical care and wage replacement, are often paid every two weeks.
However, weekly payments are not favorable for all injured workers or their families. In those cases, looking for a lump sum settlement may be the best option.
Trying to reach a workers' compensation settlement for knee injuries is not easy. Each interested party often pushes for the most advantageous outcome for them. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help.
However, before hiring one, it's important to know some key aspects. Here's an overview of what every employee should consider.
What Is a Workers Compensation Settlement?
When a person settles a work compensation claim after suffering a job-related accident, they renounce the weekly benefits granted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) to receive a lump sum of money or an annuity. Therefore, there will be no workers' compensation hearing in court.
Often, the agreement covers affected individuals' future earnings, medical expenses, and lost wages.
When they settle, workers are expected to waive all their future compensation rights. However, it is not permitted in any general release under Ohio law. As a result, a settlement could include specific injuries or cover dates of employment.
Types of Workers' Compensation Settlements in Ohio
Considering that a worker can waive all or certain benefits, these are the two main types of workers comp settlement for a work-related knee injury in Ohio:
Full settlement: When a workers comp claim is settled in full, injured employees give up all benefits related to the knee injury in exchange for a huge sum.
Indemnity-only settlement: This form of workers comp settlement is not common in Ohio, but it allows injured workers to settle only part of benefits, such as wage replacement, while the other part is left open. Some workers, for example, may continue to receive additional medical treatment.
Workers Comp Benefits Someone Can Get for a Knee Injury
According to the regulations issued by the BWC, when workers' professional and personal lives are affected by an injury or an occupational disease, they can receive some benefits, including:
Temporary total disability benefits: These are granted to those completely unable to work after an injury. They are often based on average pre-disability earnings.
Wage loss benefits: These are granted when the worker suffers a disability that impacts their professional life but can work in other areas. The most common cases are when the affected person performs lighter tasks for the same employee or finds another job with a lower salary.
Permanent total disability benefits: After the maximum medical improvement, affected workers can get these benefits if they have any permanent limitations due to a work-related accident. These rights apply to people who cannot use their legs or are unable to use their skills in any other job due to knee injuries, for example.
Permanent partial disability benefits: These are given to workers with permanent but partial disabilities, such as loss of body parts or severe disfigurement.
Workers' Compensation Settlements for Knee Injuries: Why Settle?
A workers' compensation knee injury settlement can benefit both workers and employers. However, determining whether or not it is appropriate depends on the needs of all parties involved.
By settling a workers comp claim to get immediate relief or start rehabilitation, injured employees can obtain permanent disability benefits in a lump sum. In these cases, both the victims and their families could be granted:
Medical benefits (including physical therapy in some cases)
Mileage reimbursement (when medical treatments or procedures for the knee injury are not available in the worker's community)
Survival benefits and funeral expenses (when a worker dies from a work-related injury or illness)
Advantages of Choosing a Workers' Compensation Settlement
In addition to the benefits that workers can obtain with the lump sum, there are other advantages associated with a workers' compensation settlement. These are:
Treatments with health care providers of choice: Injured workers must consult health care facilities or physicians selected by workers' compensation systems. However, with a lump sum, they can see the providers of their choice.
Unrestricted treatment options: Settling a workers' compensation case also means that injured workers can choose any option to treat their injuries, even if it is outside the treatment guidelines established by the BWC.
A new opportunity: Getting a lump sum also represents a new opportunity for injured workers looking for a fresh start or those trying to leave their injury behind and move on with their lives.
Understanding the Process to Settle a Knee Injury Case in Ohio
In addition to knowing the benefits granted when reaching a settlement, those affected must understand the process for settling a workers' compensation claim. Here are the key questions and answers on the matter.
When Should a Person Settle?
A person who suffered a workplace knee injury and received workers' compensation benefits can settle a claim with the BWC or their employer at any time.
However, experts recommend waiting until the medical treatment ends. Since each case is different, beneficiaries should seek help from experienced attorneys to obtain legal advice, make a better decision, and calculate a fair value for the settlement.
How to File a Workers Comp Settlement in Ohio
Under Ohio law, the state must approve all knee injury settlements. However, the process depends on the type of employer.
If the company where the affected person works is self-insured, the documents to settle a claim must be submitted to the Industrial Commission.
Nevertheless, if the settlement application is filed with a state-insured employer, the documents must be submitted to the BWC through an attorney.
Is It Necessary to Agree to a Full Settlement?
While full settlements are more common in the state, Ohio employees can also file an application for an indemnity-only settlement and leave workers' compensation claims open for future medical expenses.
Could Someone Not Settle A Case? What Would Happen?
When someone settles a workers' compensation claim for a knee joint injury, it stays open, and they may continue to receive benefits as long as they are entitled to them.
What Is the Average Knee Injury Settlement in Ohio?
Determining an average workers comp settlement depends on several factors, including an employee's usual pay, wages during the period of medical treatment, and maximum benefits.
However, the BWC in Ohio has published a compensation chart that could help injured individuals know how much they can get. Also, it's essential to remember that lawyers can calculate and negotiate fairer sums!
How to Know If Reaching a Workers' Compensation Benefits Settlement Is the Right Choice
After making the decision that settling a claim for a knee injury is the best option, there are other steps to take, including negotiating the appropriate amount.
This process can be challenging as the BWC and any workers' compensation insurance company seeks to protect their interests and often present offers lower than what injured individuals deserve.
Therefore, beneficiaries who want to obtain a lump sum should seek help from a work injury lawyer in Columbus Ohio. Each case is unique, but experts often consider:
Future medical needs: If the worker suffers an injury and needs a complicated knee surgery that could bring other complications in the future, they should consider the potential needs before settling a claim for a specific amount.
Earning potential: When negotiating a sum, lawyers also consider whether the knee injury is severe and affects the worker's ability to earn an income.
Seeking Help from a Seasoned Workers' Compensation Attorney in Ohio
Any worker planning to settle a workers' compensation case for a knee injury should understand what they are giving up and the settlement's terms before signing off.
Therefore, in order to make a favorable decision and fight for a fair lump sum, they must seek help from professional lawyers!
Fortunately, Larrimer & Larrimer is here to help! Anyone who wants to reach a settlement with the BWC, their employer, or insurance company and is looking for legal assistance can find a reliable and experienced workers comp attorney at our firm.
What Larrimer & Larrimer Workers' Compensation Experts Can Do
Our knee injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured workers in Ohio and are ready to fight for a fair settlement amount for them!
Larrimer & Larrimer's legal team can:
Review workers' claims to make sure the settlement benefits them
Answer workers' questions about the settlement options
Explain to the injured employee what they give up after settling a claim for a serious knee injury
Determine the best settlement amount, considering the future medical and personal needs of individuals who suffered work-related knee injuries
Submit the proper documentation to settle a case on behalf of workers
Get a Free Consultation Today!
Can a person settle a case after getting total knee replacement surgery? Are workers entitled to settlement benefits if they injured their knee joint or anterior cruciate ligament in a workplace accident?
Our firm has a workers' compensation lawyer ready to help individuals answer those questions!