Can Workers’ Compensation Pay For Knee Replacement Surgery?
Workers’ compensation is supposed to pay for all treatment of work-related injuries, even if the treatment is costly and complex, such as injuries that require surgery. The injured worker does not need to demonstrate negligence on the part of the employer; your employer is responsible for your injury-related medical expenses as long as the injury occurred at your workplace while you were doing your job. Your employer might deny your workers’ comp claim and allege that your injuries are due to a pre-existing medical condition instead of due to the work accident. Especially in the case of work injuries that cause chronic pain, older workers are at a disadvantage; many older adults have age-related degenerative arthritis. Regardless of your age, filing a workers’ compensation claim is a legally protected right. If you and your employer disagree about whether your pain is the result of a work injury or a pre-existing condition, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.
Employer Objects to Paying for Knee Replacement Surgery for Elderly Bus Driver Injured in Trip and Fall Accident
At the beginning of 2008, Cass was 70 years old and working as a bus driver for the Urban League of Springfield. On January 2 of that year, she attended a mandatory work meeting with about 200 other drivers. The meeting took place in a school cafeteria, and when the meeting ended, Cass and the other drivers walked out of the cafeteria to the school parking lot. Because it was a rainy day, the employer had placed carpeted mats with rubber edges near the door. One of the mats was bunched up, and Cass tripped over it and fell, injuring her left knee and fracturing her left femur. She was able to drive herself to the hospital but was in unbearable pain when she arrived. She eventually needed knee replacement surgery on her left knee. Her medical expenses related to the injury were more than $50,000, and she needed to be reassigned to duties that did not involve driving. Therefore, she also received permanent partial disability payments.
The employer initially refused to pay some of the money that Cass had requested. Specifically, the employer argued that Cass’s knee pain was due, at least in part, to age-related degenerative arthritis. In the ensuing legal disputes, several coworkers testified that the condition of the mat on which Cass had tripped was hazardous, but this turned out not to be the most important issue in the case. In the end, the court ordered the employer to pay for the surgery and the permanent partial disability benefits.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Trip and Fall Work Injuries
Traffic accidents are not the only way that professional drivers get injured at work; as long as you were doing your job when you got injured, work injuries are compensable. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you exercise your legal rights if you got injured in a trip and fall accident at work. Contact Connolly Injury Law in Chicago, Illinois or call or text (312)780-0816.