Though they are small, almost everything you do with your legs requires your knees. We use them to bend and straighten, which we need for standing, walking, crouching, jumping, lifting and turning. Yet, for such a tiny part of the body, the knee is prone to a large variety of aches, pains and injuries that can negatively affect one’s quality of life.
Often, we associate a knee injury with a single incident, like a slip and fall or a collision with a hard surface or an auto accident. However, knee injuries can also happen over time if a worker’s job requires repetitive motions or awkward turns. Basically the general wear and tear of work and life can cause you to hurt your knees.
Anyone can suffer a knee injury at work, but jobs where employees spend a majority of the workday on their feet or knees are more at risk. Knee injuries are often the result of repetitive stress on the job causing wear and tear. Construction workers, nurses, auto mechanics, delivery drivers, kitchen staff and any jobs requiring a lot of walking are at risk for a serious knee injury.
If the knee becomes too damaged, a doctor may suggest a knee replacement. This can require expensive medical treatments and missed time at work. It is no wonder that when a knee injury occurs at work resulting in a total knee replacement, workers wonder if the knee replacement surgery will be covered by workers compensation or not?
The right for workers’ compensation is often misunderstood. In Illinois, any injury that aggravates, reactivates or accelerates an injury can be claimed under workers’ compensation benefits. It is also important to understand that a pre-existing condition does not disqualify an injury as a work injury. You must be able to show that the aggravation of the injury was a result of work and that the injury has prevented you from working.
So, yes. Injured employees have a legal right to collect workers’ compensation benefits that will cover medical bills and lost wages for a knee replacement. Don’t be caught in the insurances false traps and potentially lose your benefits. While age and life in general certainly has played a role in your knees going bad, if your job contributed to the problem as well and you’ve worked that job in the last three years, you should receive benefits as long as a reputable doctor agrees that your job was part of the problem.
If you have questions or want to talk about a case, fill out our contact form or contact us for a free consultation at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois.