Is a Torn Meniscus Covered by Workers' Comp in Pennsylvania?
If you've suffered a torn meniscus in a workplace accident in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering if you're eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The answer in most cases is "yes" — but there are a few things you need to know.
Employees with knee injuries deserve compensation, but there are challenges
First, with very few exceptions, all injured workers qualify for workers' compensation benefits regardless of how many hours they've worked, whether it's the first day on the job, prior medical conditions, or whose fault it was. A torn meniscus can be a complicated injury that requires rest and possibly surgery to properly heal. Workers' compensation will pay for work injury-related medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages.
However, if a worker does not understand their injury or how it is treated, they may not obtain the benefits they deserve. The following is general information on meniscus injuries and Pennsylvania workers' compensation. It may not apply to all situations. In the Allentown and Bethlehem area, injured workers can contact us for a free case evaluation to ask questions and learn more about their potential legal options.
What is a torn meniscus injury?
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. Typically, meniscus injuries occur either through sudden accidents or gradually over time due to repetitive stress on the knee joint.
Workers in construction, manufacturing, landscaping, athletics, healthcare, and other physically demanding professions are at a higher risk of tearing their meniscus due to repetitive knee movements, sudden twists, heavy lifting, or impacts on the knee.
The symptoms of a torn meniscus can vary depending on the severity of the tear. Some common symptoms include:
- Pain in the knee.
- Locking or catching sensation.
- Difficulty walking or bending the knee.
- Knee joint appears deformed.
Workers' compensation for a knee injury
To be eligible for workers' compensation, an employee must prove that their injury occurred within the scope of their work. This can be done by providing medical records, witness statements, old paychecks, tax forms, timecards, and other evidence. If a claim is accepted, workers' compensation typically pays for:
- Medical expenses, including doctor's visits, surgery, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
- Lost wages during recovery. This is about two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wages. Limitations apply.
- In some cases, additional compensation may be available for loss of use.
Fighting for injured workers since 1991
At Vellner Law, PC, we know that collecting evidence, interviewing medical experts, and applying for benefits through WCAIS is a lot to handle on your own when you've been hurt at work. But you are not alone. Our experienced workers' compensation attorneys can guide you through the process and can keep your claim moving forward while you focus on healing. If you were injured at work in Lehigh Valley, contact Vellner Law, PC today for a free consultation.