Workers’ compensation for knee injuries can vary widely, like other work-related injuries. But the National Safety Council estimates that a knee injury can fetch an average of $34,932 in workers comp settlement. But of course, this depends on each case.
According to the National Library of Medicine, among 151,000 work-related injuries in 2017, 24,300 employees suffered knee injuries. Though uncommon, most knee injuries require a trip to the emergency room. In some cases, it can even cause permanent disability.
This is why if you hurt your knee while at work, you should be able to claim workers’ compensation. A knee injury can leave you out of work for days or even months. Plus, you’ll have to deal with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Workers’ compensation ensures you’ll be able to pay those bills and have food on the table while recovering from your injuries.
Unfortunately, getting a fair settlement for your injuries isn’t as easy as it sounds. Employers and insurance companies aren’t exactly known for their generosity. Most of them will try to pay you with as little as they can get away with. Some will even threaten employees who filed workers’ comp claims.
An experienced workers comp attorney like Victor Malca fighting for you will make things much more manageable. He’s been helping injured workers in Florida for nearly 30 years and has handled many knee injury cases. He can help you negotiate a favorable settlement and represent you in court if it comes to that.
COMMON WORK-RELATED KNEE INJURIES
Our knees are especially susceptible to injuries, especially if your job is physically demanding. A simple slip or sudden twist can damage the joints. Even walking or running for long periods can cause wear and tear.
Among the most common work-related knee injuries are:
- meniscus tears
- ACL tears
- sprains and tears
Some injuries can be more severe than others and may require complex medical procedures and longer recovery time. These cases will fetch a higher workers comp settlement.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR WORKERS COMP?
By law, if you hurt your knee while at work, you should be able to claim workers’ compensation. But like all workers comp-related things, it’s not that simple.
For one, you must prove that your injury happened at or because of your work. Specific knee injuries, like bursitis, tend to accumulate over time. This makes it harder to prove that they’re work-related.
In addition, some states require that your injury be due to your employer’s negligence. That, too, is hard to prove.
If you have a workers comp lawyer, they can help you with this. They’ll know what evidence to present and how best to present it to get favorable results.
HOW WORKERS COMP SETTLEMENT IS COMPUTED
A workers’ comp benefit usually includes medical benefits and lost wage compensation. The amount of these benefits depends on several factors. This includes your state’s workers comp law and the severity of your injuries.
In Florida, for example, you won’t get paid for the first seven days of your disability. But if your recovery period extends beyond 21 days, the insurance company must pay you for all the days you missed work, including the first 7 days.
So if your knee injury is not severe and you can return to work in less than 7 days, you’ll only get reimbursement for medical expenses. You won’t be paid for any lost wages. If you miss work for 8 days, you’ll get lost wages benefits for only one day.
The actual settlement amount is determined by calculating a combination of the following:
- medical expenses (including anticipated expenses)
- lost wages
- specific losses
Because these factors vary from case to case, workers comp settlement amount also tends to vary widely.
If you agree to a settlement, you’ll get to pick whether to receive a lump sum or staggered payment. If you choose the former, your employer or insurance company will be absolved of future financial responsibilities. Even if your condition worsens or your disability becomes permanent, you can’t demand any more benefits from them.
So before you accept any settlement offers, you should consult a workers comp lawyer first.
HOW IS WORKERS COMP KNEE INJURY SETTLEMENT CALCULATED?
Calculating a workers’ compensation settlement for a knee injury can vary depending on several factors. Here are some common elements that may be considered in the calculation:
1. Medical Expenses
The total medical treatment cost includes doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and other related expenses.
2. Wage Loss
If the knee injury caused you to miss work or reduce your earning capacity, the settlement may include compensation for the lost wages or future earning potential.
3. Permanent Disability
The severity of the knee injury and any resulting permanent disability can significantly determine the settlement amount. This is typically assessed by a medical professional using guidelines established by the workers’ compensation system.
4. Impairment Rating
An impairment rating measures the extent of functional loss caused by the knee injury. It is usually expressed as a percentage and can affect the settlement amount.
5. State Laws
Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. Each state has its formula or system for calculating settlements, which can include factors such as the average weekly wage, maximum benefits, and duration of benefits.
WORKERS COMP KNEE INJURY SETTLEMENT: SAMPLE CALCULATION
Here’s a sample calculation for a workers’ compensation settlement for a knee injury for someone living in Florida:
- Medical Expenses: Let’s say the total medical expenses related to the knee injury amount to $15,000.
- Wage Loss: If the knee injury caused the individual to miss work for four months, and their average weekly wage is $900, the lost wages would be $900 x 16 weeks = $14,400.
- Permanent Disability: A medical evaluation determines that the individual has a 7% permanent disability rating for a knee injury.
- Impairment Rating: In Florida, the impairment rating is multiplied by a predetermined value assigned to each body part based on the date of the accident. As of January 1, 2023, the value for a 7% permanent disability rating of the knee is $20,000.
Calculation: Permanent Disability Benefit = Impairment Rating x Value Permanent Disability Benefit = 7% x $20,000 = $1,400
- State Laws: In Florida, the maximum duration for temporary total disability benefits is 104 weeks.
Calculation: Wage Loss Benefit = Average Weekly Wage x Benefit Duration Wage Loss Benefit = $900 x 104 weeks = $93,600
Total Settlement Amount: Total Settlement = Medical Expenses + Wage Loss Benefit + Permanent Disability Benefit Total Settlement = $15,000 + $93,600 + $1,400 = $110,000
Again, please note that this is just a sample calculation, and the actual settlement amount can vary based on specific circumstances, state laws, and other individual considerations. It is always recommended to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to get an accurate assessment of your case in Florida.
VICTOR MALCA – Florida Workers Compensation & Social Security Disability Attorney
Victor Malca P.A. has over 27 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success when fighting for his clients puts him among the most trusted workers’ compensation attorney’s in Florida. He specializes in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claiming lost social security disability benefits.
Book a free consultation today. Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer and editor for the Victor Malca Law P.A. website and blog. She enjoys helping people in need with questions about social security disability and workers compensation law. She has a passion for helping those in need and the elderly with accurate legal information that can make a positive difference in their lives.