Knee Injuries At Work: Your Right To Colorado Workers’ Compensation
What type of knee injuries happen at work, and what causes them?
If you work in a busy and active workplace, injuries can happen, and those injuries often affect your knees. Knee injuries can include sprains and strains, kneecap fractures, ACL, PCL, or MCL tears, meniscus tears, bursitis, tendonitis, tibia or fibula fractures, and dislocations.
There are many ways that your knees can be hurt, including slip and falls, hitting a hard surface, repetitive motions, twisting or unnatural movements from side to side, and unnatural turning and stopping.
Here’s what you should know about reporting injuries, treating the knee, and filing for workers’ compensation.
Who is most at risk for knee injuries at work?
Employees who spend most of their time on their feet are more prone to work-related knee injuries. The professions with higher likelihood of knee injuries include:
- Construction workers
- Delivery persons
- Auto mechanics
- Waiters and waitresses
- Warehouse workers
- Professional athletes
Reporting and treating a workplace knee injury
Knee injuries suffered on the job can keep you off your feet and out of work for a number of months. Unfortunately, some workers suffering an injury may never be able to return to work again. Because the knee is the largest joint in the body and bears the brunt of the body’s weight, knee injuries can have an extended and painful recovery period.
When you have suffered a knee injury on the job, you should seek immediate medical care. This will help avoid serious problems that could lead to major mobility issues later in life. Don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room or your nearest urgent care facility after sustaining a knee injury.
When you seek treatment, it’s important to tell your medical provider that you were injured at work and elaborate on how the injury happened. You should also notify your employer of the injury as soon as you are able to do so.
Your physician will evaluate your medical condition and the type of knee injury sustained. After an initial diagnosis is made, the doctor may provide you with a referral to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon, podiatrist, or chiropractor.
The initial recommendations for knee injuries often include:
- Resting and keeping weight off the injured knee
- Elevating the knee to reduce swelling
- Alternating heat and cold to minimize bruising and pain
- Compression dressings to limit unnecessary and detrimental movements
- Whirlpool treatments
- Hot soaks
Workers’ compensation for knee injuries in Colorado
If you suffer a knee injury while on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. If you are unable to work as a result of a knee-related injury, compensation benefits will be based on 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount set by law. Your first 3 days of disability will not be compensated unless the period of disability exceeds 2 weeks.
Under Colorado law, you should give written notice to your employer of a work-related injury within 4 business or working days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in a reduction of benefits.
It’s also important to note that workers’ compensation claims are paid out by the employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, and these cases can become extremely complex. The employer and their insurance company may not agree with you regarding what you are owed at the end of your case. Settlements for knee injuries can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury and your level of debilitation.
To ensure that your rights are protected and you are fairly compensated for a knee injury on the job, you need a Colorado workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced and trusted attorney will help you every step of the way in this complex legal process.