Michigan lawyer answers the question “does workers’ compensation cover a total knee replacement?” and how to protect your legal rights.
We have represented many clients with serious knee injuries. These can be a devastating and require a long recovery time. Types of knee injuries include tears to ligaments, cartilage, and meniscus. Swelling, stiffness, locking, and pain are common symptoms. Treatment consists of prescription medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. Here is some information about how workers’ compensation can cover a total knee replacement and your legal rights.
U.S. News published an excellent article on knee replacement. It examines the pros and cons of knee replacement including different surgical approaches. Knee replacement is always a challenge for our clients to get approved under workman’s comp. Insurance companies deny these claims based upon arthritis or degeneration. It is important to remember that just because a person has some preexisting arthritis does not mean their workers’ compensation claim to cover a total knee replacement should be automatically denied. Watch out for defense medical examiners who blame everything on old age.
A traumatic event can make a preexisting knee condition much worse. Activities such as twisting, rotating, kneeling, pivoting, squatting, lifting, or sudden stops and turns can result in a work-related injury. Watch out for new symptoms such as increased pain, swelling, locking, and stiffness. Make sure these new complaints are promptly reported to the employer and doctor.
Available workman’s comp benefits in Michigan
Workers’ compensation should cover a total knee replacement. Workman’s comp is designed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. Attendant care benefits are paid to family members who must help with activities of daily living.
This can add up to 56 hours per week at the same hourly rate as a professional. Mileage should also be paid to and from medical appointments.
Lost wages should also be paid under workman’s comp. The amount is based upon 80% of a person’s after-tax average weekly wage. This calculation should include overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs. Many of our clients are underpaid so make sure the insurance company has the highest 39 paystubs during the 52 weeks before getting hurt.
Some people cannot return to their old job and must find a new career. Vocational rehabilitation helps pay for education and retraining. This is important when a transition to sedentary work is required. Lost wages should be paid during this transition period.
Many of our clients want to trade workers’ compensation benefits that will cover a total knee replacement for a lump sum cash payment. This money can be used for anything and is income tax-free. Most people who undergo a knee replacement are going to need lifetime medical treatment. It is best to speak with an experienced lawyer before settlement to make sure future medical treatment is covered. This is especially true if a claim has been disputed.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.