Developed knee problems working retail...

by Lois
(St Augustine, FL)

For weeks my left knee was hurting at work while standing and walking. I work in a retail store 37-39 hours a week. The pain kept getting worse until finally last week I went to the ER. My knee was swollen to twice its normal size. They diagnosed it as either a fray or tear to the meniscus and put me on bed rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, ice packs and an immobilizer brace for a week. I had to take a week off.

I went back to work today. The knee is still somewhat swollen but not yet like it was last week. My doctor said I might require surgery. I don't know if my knee will ever again comfortably allow me to work as I did before.

My manager is already talking about whether I will be able to carry out all of the responsibilities of my job since hurting my knee. I am concerned that if it swells up again I won't be able to stand and walk on it until it is fixed.

Am I eligible to file a worker's comp claim for this injury? What if I can't return to work like I did before, or do any kind of work where I'm standing or putting pressure on my knee? I have been working at this job for the past 18 months. My knee was fine until about a month ago and has gotten progressively worse. There's nothing else other than work that I can think may have caused this injury. Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Developed knee problems working retail...":

Lois (St. Augustine, FL):

You certainly have the right to file a workers compensation claim. Do so as soon as you can. The company's workers compensation insurance company will likely give you a list of several physicians to choose from. The physician you choose will be your "primary treating physician." The physician should send you to an orthopedist. It is likely an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) examination will be ordered. An MRI is an excellent diagnostic tool.

It will be up to your physicians to diagnosis your injury AND directly link your knee injury to your job. The insurance company should pay all your medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, crutches, etc., and about 2/3rds of your lost wages during the time you are unable to work. There is no recovery for pain and suffering in workers compensation.

You should be able to handle the claim yourself. If for any reason the insurance company denies your claim based on a position your injury occurred outside of work you'll need an attorney. Most workers compensation attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation. Hopefully you won't need one.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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