How Common Are Knee Injuries in the Workplace?
Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained in the workplace, ranking third among all serious work injuries. More than 100,000 workers experience knee injuries on the job a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chronic pain from knee injuries may cause workers to miss work, or alternatively, fear of missing work may cause workers to return to work too quickly after an injury, exacerbating the damage further.
Chronic knee pain can be difficult to manage and may end up requiring surgery. Additionally, knee pain can put the injured party out of work. The median amount of time spent away from work due to knee injuries is 16 days, second only to shoulder injuries. This, combined with medical bills, can cause financial stress on the injured worker.
How Do Knee Injuries Occur at Work?
Knee injuries can happen in a variety of ways. The two most common workplace knee injuries include strains or sprains, which account for 46% of injuries; contusions and abrasions account for 30%. The most common workplace knee injuries are:
- Heavy lifting duties, particularly when proper lifting protocols are neglected.
- Falls in the workplace, which can cause damage to tendons, ligaments, and bone.
- Banging one's knee on work equipment or other hard surfaces.
- Degeneration from repetitive movement such as walking back and forth between work areas, or from extended periods of standing.
If someone sustains an injury at work, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If the claim is filed properly, then the injured worker may be eligible for replacement of lost wages, payment of medical bills related to the injury, and other benefits. However, properly filing a claim is important to ensure these benefits are approved.
What is the Procedure to Initiate a Workers' Compensation Claim After a Knee Injury?
- Report the injury to the employer. Most states require that the injury is reported within a certain timeframe. It is best to report the injury as soon as possible, preferably in writing.
- Seek medical attention. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to the medical professional that the injury is work-related. In New York, all medical care must be from a provider authorized by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, except in an emergency.
- File a workers' compensation claim. This gives the employer, the court, and the employer’s insurance formal notice of the workplace injury. It is important to file the claim quickly so as to not experience a delay in benefits, and it is best to send the claim via certified mail. After notifying the employer and obtaining medical care, the claim can be mailed to the nearest Workers Compensation Board office. Our workers' compensation attorneys in New York City are able to assist with the nuances of this process.
How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Assist Your Knee Injury Claim in New York City
Consulting a workers' compensation law firm helps to ensure that a compensation claim is not denied for misfiling or other administrative errors. An attorney will help guide the injured party through the filing process and help the claimant through important steps such as gathering evidence for the claim. Evidence to support a claim can include medical records, witness statements, pictures, or other types of documentation, especially since some knee conditions develop over time--a claimant may need to prove their job was the cause of the injury.
If you get injured at work in New York City and are seeking assistance filing your claim to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve, O’Connor Law PLLC can help. We will guide you through the legal process and inform you about your rights if you injure your knee while working. Contact our team today.