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What to Expect from a Workers’ Compensation Settlement for Knee Surgery

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Close up of bandaged knee in medical setting

Knee injuries are the second-most common workplace injury resulting in days away from work. According to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, among those who were injured at work and required at least one or more days off, 9 percent suffered knee injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 66,540 privately employed workers suffered knee injuries at work in 2020. If you suffer a knee injury at work that requires surgery and forces you to miss work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Scroll down to learn more about what you can expect from a workers’ compensation settlement for knee surgery.

Is Knee Replacement Surgery Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

First, it’s important to understand what workers’ compensation covers in Missouri.

When employees are injured at work, they are covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for this coverage, employees are not allowed to file lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries but also do not have to prove negligence.

Workers’ compensation will cover the cost of knee replacement surgery as long as you were working at the time of your accident and were an employee. However, workers’ compensation does not cover independent contractors. You won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you’re classified as an independent contractor.

Workers’ compensation insurance pays for all medical expenses related to injured employees’ treatment, including knee surgery, prosthetics, and other medical expenses. Even if you do not require a total knee replacement until years have passed, your employer’s insurance company should still pay for the cost of your procedure. However, you will need to show that your procedure is necessary, reasonable, and related to your workplace accident.

Workers’ compensation also covers other procedures besides a total knee replacement, including treatment of a meniscus tear, physical therapy, imaging tests, and more. Furthermore, it provides disability benefits to replace a percentage of your missed income while you are unable to return to work because of your injury.

Average Workers’ Compensation Settlement for Knee Injuries

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the average settlement for knee injuries in 2021 was $35,332. However, this includes the average of all knee injury settlements, including those that didn’t require surgery. Workers who require surgical procedures for workplace knee injuries can likely expect higher amounts than those whose injuries do not require surgical intervention. If you suffered other injuries in addition to your knee injuries, they can also affect your settlement amount. The length of time your injuries will keep you from working will be an additional factor in your case.

Is it Always Possible to Get a Workers’ Compensation Knee Injury Settlement?

A workers’ compensation settlement for knee surgery isn’t always available. However, if you are prevented from working for an extended time and are unlikely to fully recover, you can probably anticipate receiving a settlement offer from your employer’s insurance company. Insurance companies typically make settlement offers once workers reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Others might make fast settlement offers when people suffer serious injuries to try to avoid making payments for years.

What to Do If You Receive a Settlement Offer

You can respond to a knee surgery settlement offer in one of the following ways:

  • Accept it
  • Reject it but continue receiving benefits
  • Negotiate for a better settlement amount

This decision can be difficult, making it important to work with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer to evaluate offers and ensure you receive enough compensation for your losses. Your attorney will evaluate the costs of your future care, your wage losses, and other factors to determine an appropriate settlement amount that covers your current and future medical costs, other out-of-pocket costs, and wage replacement coverage.

What Do You Get if You Don’t Settle?

Missouri workers’ compensation offers temporary or permanent, partial or total disability benefits equal to 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wages before your injury. You’ll receive weekly payments until you can return to your job. If you are permanently partially disabled, you’ll receive a lump sum payment. If you are totally and permanently disabled, you will receive weekly disability payments for the rest of your life.

Consult a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If your workplace knee injury requires surgery and ongoing care, reach out to the knowledgeable lawyers at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave to learn about your rights. We can evaluate your case and explain what a reasonable settlement offer might be. Call us today for a free consultation at 417-322-2222 or contact us online.