Physically demanding jobs requiring a lot of heavy lifting, squatting, climbing, and bending all day put employees at the highest risk for workplace knee injuries like meniscus tears.
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the thighbone and shinbone in the knee joint. It helps to absorb shock and distribute weight evenly across the knee. A torn meniscus can occur when the knee is forcefully twisted or bent.
A serious knee injury can significantly impact a person's day-to-day life, causing pain, limited mobility, difficulty in performing routine activities, and potentially leading to emotional distress due to the physical limitations it imposes.
Workers' comp is for injured employees, but obtaining benefits can be a challenge
Workers' compensation is a vital safety net designed to protect employees who suffer injuries or illnesses while performing their job duties. In the case of torn meniscus knee injuries, workers' compensation typically covers these injuries if they occur as a result of a workplace accident. However, proving the connection between the injury and the workplace accident and overcoming denied coverage can be a complex process.
Proving workers' comp eligibility
Injured workers in California with torn menisci seeking workers' compensation benefits must typically provide evidence that the injury occurred during the course of their employment. To allow them to focus on their health, many injured workers choose to have workers' compensation attorneys handle their accident investigation, collect evidence, and build a case for maximum compensation. Here are just some of the ways a lawyer can help an injured worker with their case:
- Explain employee rights and options. An attorney should explain the injured worker's rights and the available legal options in California. This empowers injured workers to make informed decisions throughout the process.
- Gather evidence. A workers' compensation attorney can collect relevant medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and more to demonstrate the direct link between the workplace accident and the torn meniscus. They can also find ways to document the impact of the injury on work and day-to-day activities.
- Expert testimony. If needed, the lawyer may seek expert medical opinions to support the claim, ensuring that the injury resulted from the workplace accident and not a pre-existing condition.
- Ensuring timely filing. Workers' compensation claims have strict deadlines, and a lawyer can ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly and within the required timeframes.
- Negotiate aggressively. An experienced attorney understands how to communicate with insurance companies and advocate for the client's best interests.
- Legal representation. If disputes arise or the claim faces challenges, the attorney can represent the injured worker at hearings and proceedings, ensuring their rights are protected and their voice is heard.
Recovering benefits becomes more complete when employers and insurance companies dispute claims, which is common. Last year, the California workers' compensation program responded to more than 127,200 disputes regarding denied coverage.
We are on your side
The workers' compensation process in California can be daunting, especially when seeking coverage for torn meniscus knee injuries. While workers' compensation should ideally cover such injuries, the process can be challenging. Having an experienced workers' compensation attorney to guide you can make all the difference.
If you have suffered a torn meniscus while on the job or another type of work-related knee injury, contact us for a free case review. A member of our team can listen to the details of what happened, answer your questions, explain your rights, and help you decide what to do next.