You work hard for every dollar you make. And in doing so, pouring everything into the job day after day, injuries may occur. In most cases, work-related injuries are the type of things that happen suddenly and unexpectedly. But that is not always true. Over time, repetitive motion can cause injuries like meniscal lesions, which can be painful and require medical attention. Do not continue to suffer and limit your mobility for fear that you cannot afford treatment. It’s important to know your options.
Anytime you experience pain originating from a work-related activity, you should consider your options for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The experienced team at Petro Cohen, P.C. understands the intricacies of New Jersey workers’ compensation rights. They specialize in this complex area of law and can help you make sure your claim is handled correctly so that you receive adequate compensation for your workplace injury.
Can I Seek Compensation If My Meniscal Lesions Are Work-Related?
Many jobs that entail repetitive physical labor are predisposed to this type of workplace injury. Injuries that occur over time rather than suddenly are considered “wear and tear” injuries. Wear and tear is more difficult to associate directly with employment-related activities, which is why it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel when pursuing compensation for your meniscus lesions. According to the National Safety Council, a knee injury results in an average of 18 days away from work.
What Is a Meniscal Lesion?
The meniscus is a structure made of fibrocartilage in the knee joint that cushions the space between the shinbone (tibia) and the thigh bone (femur). Each knee has a meniscus on the inside of the knee and one on the outside.
The meniscus functions to help distribute weight evenly across the knee and prevent the bones of the knee joint from grinding against one another when a person stands or moves. Meniscal lesions can affect the ability of the knee to function normally. In some cases, this causes significant pain and limits mobility.
Types of Meniscal Lesions
There are two basic types of meniscal lesions. These may also be referred to as meniscal tears.
A traumatic meniscal lesion is often caused by a quick turn of the body, pivoting on the knee while the foot is planted on the ground. This can happen to anyone but is a common injury for athletes. Repetitive kneeling or rising from a squatting position while lifting can also lead to a tear or lesion. These types of repetitive motions may occur in a work environment.
Degenerative (atraumatic) lesion/tear
Degeneration and breakdown of the meniscal structure can occur through the aging process. Twisting the knee may make the tear worse. This type of lesion has a different pattern from a traumatic lesion, which is an important distinction when it comes to determining if the injury is age or work-related.
Symptoms of Meniscal Lesions
If you have sustained meniscal lesions over time, your initial symptoms may not be as severe as a sudden traumatic knee injury. It can take up to 24 hours for pain and swelling to appear, especially if the tear starts out small. Symptoms could include:
- Pain when twisting or rotating the knee,
- A popping sensation with certain movements,
- Swelling or stiffness,
- Feeling as though the knee is locking in place,
- Difficulty straightening the knee, and
- Feeling like your knee is buckling or giving out.
A knee injury can inhibit your ability to work or move around normally. Properly diagnosing and treating a knee injury can be costly.
Pursuing Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
If you are experiencing knee pain from an injury sustained by repetitive motion in the course of employment, you are probably wondering, “Can I seek compensation if my meniscal lesions are work-related?” The answer is yes, as long as you can prove that is where the injury occurred.
In most cases, you will be eligible for medical benefits and temporary disability payments. When covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you will incur no out-of-pocket deductibles.
To receive compensation, your employer and their insurance company must approve your workplace injury claim. One of the most common reasons for claim denial is the insistence by the insurance company that the knee injury did not occur at work. This is why having an experienced worker’s compensation attorney can make a big difference in your claim.
Trust Petro Cohen for Your WEAR and TEAR Claim
Petro Cohen, P.C. has assisted injured workers in South Jersey for decades with an emphasis on WEAR and TEAR™, or repetitive stress injuries. The firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department has more than 100 years of combined experience, among Department Head and Senior Partner Frank Petro, Partners Suzanne Holz Meola, and Terri Hiles, and attorneys Daniel Rosenthal and Sam Scimeca. Working together with you, they will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential workers’ comp and/or personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. attorney by calling 888-675-7607. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at PetroCohen.com.