Within the workplace, there are many different types of injuries that can occur. Knee, ankle, and foot injuries are some of the most common for workers and they can be quite serious at times. More than this, they can have a significant impact on your ability to do your job. Whether it is a broken foot or shattered knee-cap, these types of injuries can limit your mobility, reduce your ability to complete job-related tasks, and make simple tasks more difficult to handle. If you ignore these types of injuries, they may only become more severe and permanent.
So, if you have sustained a knee, ankle, or foot injury in the workplace, you should file a workers’ compensation claim and receive the proper medical treatment. With workers’ compensation, not only may you receive medical assistance for your injury, but you may also be covered for medical expenses and various bills. At Workers Compensation Attorney Law Firm, we can assist workers in the Los Angeles area with all matters pertaining to workers’ compensation. If you have questions regarding your foot, knee, or ankle injury and how you may receive workers’ compensation, we are prepared to help you. You should not have to suffer through these injuries, you should find help and recover from your injuries as quickly as possible.
Knee, Ankle, and Foot Injuries and the Workplace
Knee, ankle, and foot injuries may include a great variety of injuries that can occur in the workplace. These types of injuries are some of the most common injuries that workers may face in the workplace. There are various situations in which a knee, ankle, or foot injury may arise.
For workers who are on their feet all day and every day, they may find that their feet hurt after so long. It is common for workers to ignore this pain; however, if the pain becomes more significant and does not go away, it can be a sign of a greater issue.
These types of injuries can be a result of a variety of situations. Common actions and incidents that may lead to either a foot, ankle, or knee injury include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects
- Impact with hard surfaces
- Twisting and irregular movements
- Repetitive movements
Also, repetitive work tasks may also contribute to an injury over a long period of time. Even though you may not feel the effects and the pain of these types of injury right away, they may still be considered to be work-related injuries.
- Nelson is a construction worker. One day, while working at a construction site, Nelson falls while operating equipment. After a visit to the emergency room, Nelson learns that he has fractured his kneecap.
- Sandra works in a warehouse. One day, she assists with moving pallets of product around the warehouse. During this, one of the pallets slips and falls onto her foot. Because of this, her foot is broken.
These examples listed above describe situations in which an employee sustains an injury in the workplace. Due to various reasons, their injuries developed as a result of doing their job. Namely, these are accidental in nature. Of course, these sorts of injuries may occur through a variety of situations and everyone’s situation is different and unique.
Usually, your employer will try and implement certain measures and protocols that will reduce the possibility for injury; however, they may still occur—no matter how prepared you are. Especially for more physically demanding jobs, these types of injuries can be quite common. If you have sustained a knee, foot, or ankle injury in your workplace, or by doing tasks required by your job, it is important to know that you can receive workers’ compensation for help. As a worker in the state of California, you have protected rights. Should you become injured or ill while on the job, you have the right to receive the proper workers’ compensation. Your employer may not deny this right.
Once you have developed a knee, foot, or ankle injury in the workplace, it is also crucial to know what to do next in order to receive workers’ compensation. This way you can receive the proper financial help for your situation.
Impact of Knee, Ankle, and Foot Injuries in the Workplace
As stated before, knee, ankle, and foot injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to work. While some injuries may be more debilitating than others, any injury can reduce your ability to work properly, provide maximum effort, or simply move around every day. Lower extremities like the foot, ankle, and knee provide a lot of support to your daily activities and in providing proper mobility. So, it is only natural that an injury in this area may lead to significant pain and impact your ability to work.
Possible Reasons for Injury
Within the workplace, there are many factors that may contribute to these types of injuries. This can include contact stress. This simply means that either your foot, ankle, or knee is constantly hit against a hard surface. This can cause significant damage if done over long periods of time. Also, in the knee area, overexertion may lead to tendinitis. This indicates that the muscles around the knee are torn which can cause significant pain. Simple motions like squatting and kneeling can lead to future issues by overstretching ligaments. Standing on your feet all day for multiple days at a time can lead to major issues in the future as your muscles and joints begin to wear down. These types of injuries are just as severe, and you should notify your employer about it once you begin to notice pain in these areas.
Even workplace hazards can present a risk for a knee, ankle, or foot injuries. For example, wet floors and puddles can lead to slips and falls. Also, heavy equipment and heavy loads can create a major injury should an accident occur. Usually, your employer will provide instructions on how to operate machinery and information regarding potential hazards around the workplace; however, accidents can still occur.
Probably the most common reason for a knee, ankle, and foot injuries are simply workplace accidents. Even when all hazards have been considered, they can still occur. With accidents, injuries can range from minor to major depending on the circumstances. It is always important to seek medical attention should anything unfortunate occur.
Impact of These Injuries
The knee, the ankle, and the foot are important parts of the body that provide support and mobility. So, when they have become injured, it is only natural that your ability to properly work should suffer. Depending on your exact injury, your abilities may become limited. This can mean that you are restricted in movement, restricted in your ability to stand, limited in your ability to lift heavy objects, and more. These injuries may even slow you down.
As you may find out, when it comes to workers’ compensation, your health is important. Your employer and your doctor may discuss your ability to work. This can mean discussions involving what tasks you are able to handle, how long you can work, and whether you need any modifications to your job to accommodate for your injury. This is only meant to preserve your health as an employee. Sometimes, these modifications are only temporary and will last until your doctor has indicated you are physically able to handle your regular duties.
Workers’ Compensation and Knee, Ankle, and Foot Injuries
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers must carry in the state of California. Also, all workers in California are guaranteed the right to receive workers’ compensation. This type of insurance is meant to provide financial assistance to employees who have developed a work-related injury or illness. Usually, when you begin working at any workplace, your employer will inform you of the proper information regarding your company’s workers’ compensation and your rights as an employee. Under workers’ compensation, most work-related injuries and illnesses are covered. This also includes any knee, ankle, or foot injury that may occur.
Also, remember that workers’ compensation is a ‘no-fault’ system. This means that when you receive workers’ compensation benefits from the insurance company, you may not take legal action against your employer. Even though the injury may have occurred in your workplace, by receiving workers’ compensation you will be giving up your ability to sue your employer or the company. Employers purchase workers’ compensation types of insurance in order to provide a safety net for their employees should anything occur to them in the workplace.
What Benefits Can I Receive Under Workers’ Compensation?
With an injury, workers’ compensation can provide a number of benefits to the affected employee. For most employees, workers’ compensation may provide coverage for medical bills and expenses. This can include emergency services, prescriptions, doctor/health care provider bills, and other necessary expenses like x-rays. Depending on the severity of your knee, foot, or ankle injury, you may require more or less financial assistance. Your claims administrator will determine how much coverage is necessary for your case.
Workers’ compensation may even cover different types of treatments necessary to treat your injury. For example, if you need physical therapy in order to regain proper mobility in your ankle, then workers’ compensation may be able to cover the costs for this type of treatment. Of course, the claims administrator will determine what treatments are necessary—thus, covered by workers’ compensation—in relation to your injury and its severity.
Also, if your knee, foot, or ankle injury is so severe that you are unable to go to work and perform your usual tasks, you may receive extra assistance from workers’ compensation. With temporary disability benefits or TD, you may be able to receive compensation for any lost wages you have incurred during your recovery period. However, it must be noted that you will not receive the total amount of your wages. Usually, you will only receive a fraction of the lost wages. This benefit will last up until you are fit enough to return to your job. This benefit is added on top of any medical costs that may have resulted from your injury.
If your knee, foot, or ankle injury is permanent, then you may be able to receive permanent disability benefits or PD. Usually, you will be eligible to receive if your injury is permanent and will have a lasting effect on your ability to do your job. On top of providing coverage for medical costs, this will also cover for a fraction of your lost wages. You may even be able to receive this benefit after you have returned to your job. This will only occur if you return to your old job at reduced hours, lighter tasks, or more adjustments meant to make your work easier on your injury.
Lastly, if you are unable to return to your old job because of your foot, ankle, or knee injury, then you may be able to receive supplemental job displacement benefits. This is a very specific form of benefit meant to help workers find a new job. Usually, you will receive vouchers that will help in finding the proper training and skill learning necessary for finding a new job. This does not indicate that you were fired from your old job because of your injury.
What Should I Do After an Injury?
If you have been inflicted with a knee, foot, or ankle injury in the workplace, then you should know about the process you must follow in order to receive the proper workers’ compensation. Once you have sustained an injury in the workplace, you may feel unsure of what to do next. However, your employer will provide you will the necessary information and forms needed to receive workers’ compensation. Once you have been injured, you should:
- Seek medical attention if it’s an emergency
- Inform your employer/supervisor
- Fill out a DWC-1 form
- Return the form to your employer to be submitted
- Receive a copy of the form
- Receive notification of approval or denial of the claim
The above is just a simplified list of steps you should take in order to file for and receive workers’ compensation in the state of California. Everyone’s situation is different. Always discuss with your employer about the process to receive workers’ compensation. This information may even be available in company literature, or in an employee handbook. The best thing you can do in order to be rightfully compensated for your work-related injury is to be informed about the process and about what you must do. Lastly, always take special consideration of any and all deadlines. You do not want to become ineligible to receive workers’ compensation because you have reported the injury too late, or you have submitted the claim too late.
If you have been inflicted with a knee, foot, or ankle injury and it is serious, you should always seek emergency services. Your health as an employee should always be the number one priority in any workplace. Once you have sought the proper treatment and assistance, you should notify your doctor or health care provider that your injury resulted from a work-related incident. If you have sustained an injury that is less serious and can be treated within the workplace, you can begin the workers’ compensation process right away and then seek treatment from a doctor. From this point, you can proceed to follow the steps necessary to receive workers’ compensation.
Filling Out the DWC-1 Form
Once you are able to, you should notify your employer or supervisor about your injury as soon as you can. You must report the injury within thirty (30) days of the incident. If you fail to do this, you may become ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Once you have notified your employer about the injury, they must give you a DWC-1 form to fill out to begin the workers’ compensation process. Within this form, you will describe your injury as well as the incident that led to it. For example, you may write that you broke your left foot when a pallet of materials fell on it in the warehouse. You may even download the form online in case your employer fails to give you a copy.
When you have filled out all of the employee sections of the DWC-1, you will then submit the form back to your employer. Remember to keep of copy of the form for yourself. Once your employer receives the form, they will then fill out the employer sections. The employer must sign the completed form and submit a copy back to you within one (1) day of receiving it. Your employer will also submit the completed form to the insurance company in order to be approved or denied.
While the form is reviewed by a claims administrator, you may continue to receive medical treatment should you need it. Your employer will cover the bills and expenses during this period up to a certain amount. The claims administrator will look over the details of the case and determine if you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If your case is suspicious in circumstances, they may even choose to investigate the claim to ensure there is no fraudulent activity on the part of the employee. Your employer must, by law, notify you within ninety (90) days on whether or not your claim has been approved.
Approval or Denial of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your claim has been approved by the insurance company, they will provide information regarding the types of benefits you are eligible to receive. This could mean that your medical bills will be covered by the insurance company. You may even receive other benefits like temporary disability benefits, permanent disability, or supplemental job displacement benefits depending on the details and circumstances of your case.
If your claim has been denied, you may be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you feel that your claim has been wrongfully denied, then you may choose to dispute the decision. There are many different options available should you feel that you have been wrongfully denied. One option is hiring a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance in your case. You may even be able to take your case to court if necessary.
Locating a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Near Me
Knee, foot, and ankle injuries may seem like minor injuries that can occur in the workplace; however, in actuality, these types of injuries can seriously affect your health and negatively affect your ability to do your job. Broken feet, shattered kneecaps, and sprained ankles are just a few serious injuries that can commonly occur within the workplace. Depending on your job field, you may be more at risk for certain types of injuries than other workers in different fields. It is crucial that you notify your employer about your injury to begin the workers’ compensation process. In California, all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, and all employees are guaranteed the right to receive workers’ compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses. With workers’ compensation, you can get the necessary medical attention your injury requires. Also, your bills may be covered so that you do not have to worry about the financial impact a doctor visit can make.
If you need help with filing a claim for workers’ compensation or disputing a decision, Workers Compensation Attorney Law Firm is ready to help you. We understand that a workplace injury or illness can be especially stressful for any worker in the Los Angeles area. Not only will it impact your physical health, but it may even impact your financial situation. This is why workers’ compensation is so important. It provides the proper financial assistance in difficult times. As a worker in California, this is a right and it may not be denied. If you have questions, or if you need help, contact our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer today at 310-956-4277. Our professional staff is highly qualified in the area of workers’ compensation. With our knowledge, we can provide you with the best help around, and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.