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Knee Injuries in the Auto Industry

Lawyers Helping Factory Workers in Chicago

Treatment for knee injuries in the auto industry may range from ice and simple rest for minor pain to surgical intervention in more serious situations. If you sustained a knee injury at an automotive plant, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To understand the full scope of medical benefits and disability payments available in your situation, contact the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca for a consultation.

Knee Injuries in the Auto Industry

When employees work in an automobile manufacturing plant, they may face a risk of suffering from knee injuries when safety protocols are not followed. During a workplace accident, an employee might fracture, dislocate or sprain their knee while operating heavy machinery. Employees may also strain or tear cartilage and ligaments, including the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, and medial collateral ligaments, during a slip-and-fall accident. The harm caused by any of these injuries varies. For instance, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) crosses the knee and provides strength and stability. After an ACL injury, walking can be difficult or even impossible. Surgery might be needed, depending on whether the ACL is strained or torn.

If you sustain a knee injury while working as an autoworker, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation system in Illinois is a no-fault system meant to make it easier for injured workers to recover compensation than through a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Because the workers’ compensation system may be difficult to navigate, retaining a lawyer to prosecute or settle your claim can by advantageous.

Types of Benefits

The workers’ compensation system allows autoworkers to obtain benefits for work-related knee injuries. These benefits include medical costs, disability, and vocational rehabilitation. It is supposed to pay for the medical costs of job-related injuries and illnesses, including injuries sustained because working exacerbated a pre-existing condition. For example, even if you sustained a knee injury from playing sports many years ago, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits such as medical costs and disability pay in the event that the prior knee injury is exacerbated by lifting heavy items in an automotive manufacturing plant such that you become unable to work.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits can include temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. You can receive temporary total disability benefits if you are unable to work while recovering from a work-related knee injury. These are also available if your employer is unable to offer light-duty work that would accommodate physical restrictions placed as a result of your knee injury. For example, if you are no longer able to work on your feet after sustaining a knee injury in the manufacturing plant, you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits if your employer does not have sedentary work for you to do instead. Generally, temporary total disability benefits are not available for the first three days, but if you must take at least 14 days off work because of the knee injury, you can retroactively recover for the first three days. These benefits amount to 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a maximum rate and will be paid until you reach maximum medical improvement.

If you are left with a permanent disability at the point of maximum medical improvement, you may be able to obtain permanent total disability damages. You may qualify for permanent total disability benefits if you are not able to perform any sort of work as a result of the knee injury. If you injured both knees such that you can no longer use both of your legs, you may also be eligible for permanent total disability benefits.

On the other hand, if you can no longer use your knee as a result of a work-related injury and can no longer perform certain tasks, but can still complete others, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. These are calculated in four ways: disfigurement benefits, unscheduled awards, scheduled loss-of-use awards, and wage differential benefits.

Retain a Skilled Attorney in Chicago

Knee injuries may necessitate surgery and can be disabling for autoworkers. If you are harmed by work-related knee injuries in the auto industry, you should talk to the lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about whether you have a viable claim. We represent injured autoworkers in Aurora, Quincy, Chicago, Champaign, and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.