Cartilage Injuries in the Auto Industry

Lawyers for Workers Hurt on the Job in Chicago

Cartilage is a flexible and tough tissue found all over the body. It protects joints from absorbing shock and permits bones to move over each other smoothly. Cartilage can suffer damage because of gradual wear and tear over time, or due to an acute injury. Often people with cartilage injuries suffer from stiffness, inflammation and pain; they may not be able to work. If you have suffered cartilage injuries in the auto industry in a work-related accident, you may be able to recover benefits. A seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you assert your legal rights.

Cartilage Injuries in the Auto Industry

Cartilage can be springy yellow cartilage, fibrocartilage, or hyaline cartilage. Any of these can be damaged. There are various functions to cartilage in our bodies, but most basically they reduce friction, support our weight, and cushion forceful impacts. While they may be treated with NSAIDs in many cases, it may be necessary to take time off work in the event of an injury. The symptoms of cartilage injuries can be severe pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and inflammation.

Cartilage injuries can take different forms based on their severity and location on the body that’s impacted. Articular damage often happens in the knees, but ankles, hips, wrists, and elbows may also be affected. A torn meniscus can result in locking of the knee, swelling of the knee, and inability to straighten or bend the knee. Sometimes cartilage breaks off, and a joint may be locked, resulting in bleeding in the joint. The injury may be the result of a direct blow, such as if a heavy auto part falls on you, or it can be the result of long-term wear and tear from lifting heavy parts.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits that are paid by an employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Benefits in Illinois may include vocational rehabilitation, medical bills, and disability compensation. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer can assist you in determining which benefits you may be eligible for.

Benefits will vary depending on how disabled you are by your cartilage injuries. Although they might sound minor, cartilage injuries can be seriously disabling for someone whose work in the auto industry depends on moving around and lifting heavy objects. For example, if you work in an automotive assembly line and suffer a torn meniscus, you may no longer be able to work in the assembly line. Through workers’ compensation, you may be able to recover medical benefits for a torn meniscus including compensation for medical exams, crutches, physiotherapy, and even surgical repair, when these benefits are reasonably necessary due to problems like locked knee, continued pain, or inability to achieve a range of motion. You may also be able to get disability benefits, which may come in the form of temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits.

If you have suffered cartilage injuries in the auto industry, you should provide notice to your employer as soon as possible. Delaying on notice can result in an insurer believing you didn’t really sustain your cartilage injury at work. You should provide the notification even if your supervisor or boss witnessed an acute accident on the job and you assume he or she knows you were injured. The notice should be in writing.

Sometimes employees with legitimate injuries are denied workers’ compensation benefits. The insurer may claim that the injuries were suffered off the job, the injuries were self-inflicted as in a fight, the injuries were suffered due to the employee perpetrating a serious crime, or that the injuries were sustained due to a violation of company policy.

Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you have sustained cartilage injures in the auto industry, you can talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Chicago regarding your rights. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent disabled people in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Kane Counties. We look closely at the circumstances of our clients’ disabilities to determine whether there are also other avenues for relief. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.