Knee injuries can be debilitating and may seriously affect your ability to do your job. These injuries can develop one of two ways: either through a sudden accident or through an accumulation of stress due to overuse. In either case, workers who struggle to complete their job duties due to a knee injury are eligible for workers’ compensation. These benefits are designed to provide financial support until you’re capable of returning to work.
While any work-related injury qualifies for workers’ comp, not every injured worker has an easy time getting the benefits they deserve. Many injured employees run into difficulties with the insurance company or their employer. One or both of these parties may dispute your claim, arguing that your injury occurred outside of work or because of a pre-existing condition. This is especially common for cumulative stress injuries.
If you’ve suffered a work-related knee injury, there are two crucial first steps. First, you should file an injury report with your employer. This will begin the process of applying for workers’ compensation. Next, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board. This will begin treatment for your injury and provide medical evidence to back up your claim.
This process can be much more complicated than most people realize. It’s often necessary to have the guidance of a work injury lawyer in order to get the benefits you deserve.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, knee injuries are some of the most common injuries and require some of the longest periods away from work – accounting for roughly 100,000 injuries in 2015 and a median of 16 missed days. As mentioned above, these injuries fall into one of two broad categories:
Knee injuries commonly occur during workplace accidents or due to strenuous working conditions.
Work accidents and working conditions which frequently lead to acute knee injuries include:
Chronic knee pain can develop in a variety of working environments. It’s possible for these injuries to occur even in low-stress labor due to repeating the same movements over and over again throughout the years, which slowly causes stress to accumulate in certain body parts.
Remember that regardless of how your injury occurred, you should be covered by workers’ compensation. However, getting through the claims process is not always as easy as it should be. It’s often necessary to have legal guidance in order to deal with employers and workers’ comp insurance carriers.
While the law says that all employees must be covered by workers’ comp and that all work-related injuries requiring missed days are eligible for coverage, the reality is a bit different. In order to receive the benefits you need, you must satisfy the requirements of the Worker’s Compensation Board and deal with possible obstructions from the insurance companies.
Some knee injuries may be obviously work-related, such as an amputation after being crushed by a piece of heavy machinery. But workers with chronic knee injuries often struggle to get the compensation they deserve. Your employer and their insurance company may argue that your injury is just a natural byproduct of aging, or that it resulted from a preexisting condition or circumstances outside of your work environment.
Insurance carriers have a financial interest in denying claims for workers’ compensation. This is how they make their profits. Many injured workers don’t realize that these insurance companies are not on their side after an injury. They enter the process without legal representation and are blindsided when their claims get denied.
Your employer’s insurance carrier has their own skilled lawyers who specialize in denying claims for workers’ comp. Even a small inaccuracy or mistake on your application may result in a denied claim. In order to give yourself a fair fight against these powerful companies, it’s usually necessary to have your own skilled work injury lawyer who has experience representing the interests of injured New York workers.
At Banville Law, we’re proud to represent injured workers throughout all industries and occupations. We know how the workers’ comp system works, we have experience negotiating with the top insurance companies, and we know how to counteract an insurance company’s attempt to deny a claim. Additionally, we can help you pursue other forms of compensation – such as a Social Security disability claim for a permanently disabling injury or a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party (such as an independent contractor or manufacturer of defective equipment.
We also understand how much financial stress a work injury causes – that’s why we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing until you receive the financial compensation you need.