Among the most frequently seen work related injuries in Greenville, South Carolina, workers’ compensation claims are knee injuries. The trouble is in proving that the injury is actually related to work, rather than being an idiopathic injury. An idiopathic injury is one that occurs spontaneously or without an obvious cause. This is common in knee injuries, and you may struggle to prove that your injury was actually caused by your work conditions or work responsibilities. This could spell trouble for your workers’ compensation claim. You don’t have to prove negligence, because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, but you do have to prove that the injury happened due to a work related cause.
Today, we’ll look at some of the common types and causes of knee injuries that occur in Greenville, South Carolina workers’ compensation claims. We’ll look at how pre-existing and degenerative knee conditions could affect a workers’ compensation claim, how knee injuries occur from falling, how you can injury your knee by lifting or maneuvering heavy objects, and how work related auto accidents can also result in knee injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation.
What Happens if You Have a Pre-Existing or Degenerative Knee Condition?
If you have a pre-existing or degenerative knee condition, then this can impact whether or not you can recover
workers’ compensation benefits or the value of those benefits. It does not necessarily prevent you from being eligible for such benefits, though it can, depending on the situation. If you are injured at work in such a way that it makes your pre-existing condition worse, then you should be able to receive benefits for any treatment and time off of work, based on the change in your condition caused by work.
Yet, many cases of knee injuries are not caused by work, but by the pre-existing condition. This is particularly so in degenerative knee conditions, where the condition of your knee is expected to grow worse with time and use. If you are at work, and you stand up, and your knee gives out because of a degenerative or pre-existing condition, you may not be able to establish that the injury is work related. However, if you are at work, and you fall from a height, trip and fall, or get into an auto accident that damages your knee, then you should be able to prove that the work related accident is what caused your injury, rather than the cause being the pre-existing condition.
Common examples of pre-existing and degenerative knee conditions that may impact your workers’ compensation claim include losing cartilage, having weak or brittle bones, or having joint issues that affect your knees. Never assume that you pre-existing or degenerative knee condition will prevent you from recovering workers’ compensation benefits, but be aware of the possibility. Then, contact a Greenville, South Carolina, workers’ compensation attorney to discuss the details of your injury and your workers’ compensation claim, including how your pre-existing condition relates to the case.
What Types of Knee Injuries Could Occur in Your Greenville, South Carolina, Workplace?
Work related knee injuries can occur in a variety of different ways. You might fall from a height in some work environments, or trip and fall on your knee in others. If you are in a work related auto accident, then your knee could be crushed, fractured, or otherwise damaged. If you lift and maneuver heavy objects, then your knee could be strained, pulled, or dislocated. If you have a pre-existing or degenerative knee condition, then you are at greater risk for such injuries, though in many cases, you can still get workers’ compensation when they occur. You may be initially denied, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reverse that decision with the help of an attorney to get the benefits that you need.
To fully understand how and why such knee injuries can occur at work, let’s look at the structures in the knee. The knee joint is composed of three bones (thigh, shin, knee cap) and cartilage (to cushion bones). Then, there are the muscles and tendons that could be damaged. If the cartilage wears away (typically through degenerative knee conditions), then this causes pain and damage over time. If any of the bones are broken or separated, then the pain from this can be intense and severe. It can also cause further damage that may become an ongoing problem. In many cases, ongoing degenerative knee conditions begin with a single injury that causes extensive damage that never fully heals.
Do You Have a Third Party Injury Claim for Your Knee Injury in Greenville, South Carolina?
Depending on how your injury occurred and where, you may also have a third party injury claim. This is any claim that you pursue outside of your workers’ compensation claim against another liable party (other than your employer). You cannot file a third party injury claim against your boss or co-workers, because workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy system. However, if you are in a work related auto accident, experience a work related accident on someone else’s property, or due to the fault of a third party, then you can file a third party claim against the negligent party. Examples include: another driver in an auto accident that occurs while you are working, or a homeowner in cases where you do work at people’s homes and there was a premises liability hazard, or where a delivery driver negligently injured you on your employer’s premises.
Signs and Symptoms of Knee Injuries in Greenville, South Carolina, Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you suffer from a knee injury at work, then you need to seek medical treatment quickly. Many people try to ignore or work through the initial symptoms of a work related knee injury. This is unwise because the injury can get worse, and you may find it difficult to prove what caused it. If you hear a pop in your knee, if you can’t put weight on your knee, or if your knee begins to swell up or becomes discolored, then you need to seek immediate medical treatment. Yet, there are also cases where the symptoms are not so sudden or severe. Your knee may simply be tender or weak. You should still see a doctor if you have any symptoms of a knee injury at work. The sooner you seek treatment, the better off your going to be in terms of recovery and receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with Help from a Greenville, SC, Attorney
Learn more about how Greenville, South Carolina, workers’ compensation benefits can help you recover from a knee injury by contacting the attorneys at Double Aught Injury Lawyers for a FREE consultation.
Bryan Ramey is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 27 years now. Bryan Ramey believes in representing the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.