Injuries on the job can leave you unable to return to work and facing high medical costs. If you suffered severe injury to your knee, it is possible that you could face ongoing limping or pain, potentially limiting what work tasks you can perform going forward. Fortunately, if your knee injury was work-related, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits that can help support you through your injury. Fayetteville AR workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak explains what kinds of benefits you may be entitled to receive for a knee injury settlement in Arkansas. For help with your workplace injury case in Fayetteville, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today.
What is a Knee Injury Worth for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas?
Workers’ compensation calculates the benefits you are entitled to receive based on the injuries you suffer and the wages you were receiving at the time of the injury. Many injuries are specifically included in Ark. Code § 11-9-521 with specific guidelines for the Workers’ Compensation benefits that should be paid. “Knee injuries” as a specific term are not included, but there is still a listing that can help.
Typically, each listed or “scheduled” injury has a number of weeks assigned to it, during which you can receive weekly wage-loss benefits. These benefits equal 66 2/3% of the wages you normally receive and last for the amount of time listed with the specific injury in § 11-9-521. Most of these injuries assume that you have a total loss of function in the injured body part, such as amputation or massive damage that essentially means you cannot use the body part. To this end, many of the injuries listed include loss of a finger, loss of a toe, or amputation of a limb.
While there is no specific “knee injury” listing, there is a listing for loss of function in or amputation of the leg “at the knee, or between the knee and the hip. This injury can pay weekly wage benefits for 184 weeks.
If your injury does not include a permanent or total loss of function, your damages are usually scaled down to cover the percentage of function you lost. For instance, if you lost 20% of the flexibility and function of your knee or lower leg because of your injury, you would typically be entitled to 20% of the benefits you would receive for a complete loss.
In addition to the wage-loss benefits, you can usually receive full coverage for medical benefits as long as you use an approved physician and keep up with their care plan.
Should I Accept a Settlement from Workers’ Comp. for My Knee Injury?
Since the value of your case hinges on what your weekly wage is and what medical care you need for your injury, it is difficult to determine how much your case would be worth or what the average settlement amount should be for your type of injury. To determine whether a settlement amount is proper in your case, it is important to have an experienced Arkansas workman’s comp. lawyer review your case and go over the costs associated with your injury before you accept any settlement offers.
When you accept a settlement for Workers’ Compensation, you give up the right to ongoing payments and accept all of the money up front in one lump sum settlement. You may be able to structure this settlement so that you get the money over time to avoid higher taxes and other consequences. Nonetheless, the money you receive in a settlement should equal the total value of your lost wage benefits plus the projected cost of necessary medical expenses all converted to the present monetary value as of the day you receive the settlement.
One of the most important factors in deciding whether to accept a settlement for your injuries is how predictable the healthcare costs are in your case. Calculating the wage-loss benefits in your case uses a relatively straightforward formula, but understanding the potential medical expenses can be more difficult. In cases where your injury might become worse over time and require additional care or medical intervention, taking a settlement now might not account for those future costs.
With a knee injury, your condition could deteriorate over time. In many cases, you may eventually need a total knee replacement or additional surgery or rehabilitation to help your injury improve. These costs might be unpredictable, and accepting a settlement now might mean you miss out on money for those future costs. However, more recoverable injuries might have more predictable costs, and the settlement offer may be appropriate for your case. Talk to an attorney for guidance in deciding whether to accept a lump-sum settlement for Workers’ Compensation.
Contact Our Fayetteville Workers’ Comp. Lawyer Today for a Free Legal Consultation
For help filing your Workers’ Compensation claim for a knee injury, contact Fayetteville workers’ comp. attorney Ken Kieklak today to schedule a free legal consultation. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you file for workers’ comp. and calculate a proper settlement for your injury. To schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.
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