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Do I Get a Settlement for My Workers Compensation Knee Injury?

When you injure your knee doing your job, you will probably have a workers compensation case.  Most people know a little bit about workers compensation.  They may know that it pays for medical treatment and some of their lost wages.

Many people also have heard of workers compensation settlements.  But, a lot of people do not know whether they are entitled to a settlement or exactly what a settlement is.

In this article, I am going to discuss workers compensation knee injury settlements.

Physical therapist working with patient with knee injury and braceWhy would I want to settle my workers compensation knee injury case?

You can settle your case for any reason.  But, most people wait until they reach maximum medical improvement to settle.

Maximum medical improvement is the point at which your treating doctor has gotten you as good as they can.  With a serious knee injury, this probably means that you have had one or more knee surgeries.  You probably also had some physical therapy and other treatment to to recover afterward.

When you reach maximum medical improvement, you may be ready to close your workers compensation case and move on.  Settlement is one way that you can can move on.

There can certainly be other reasons that you want to settle your case.  Just be sure you understand that settlement is final.  You can almost never go back and change it.

Because of that, you need to really understand what you are doing before you settle.  Otherwise, you can make a big mistake.

Am I entitled to a settlement for my knee injury?

The first thing to understand is that you are not ever entitled to a Georgia workers compensation settlement.  But, you can almost always settle your case if you want to.  Most workers compensation cases do settle.

The reason you are not entitled to a settlement is that settlement requires you to reach an agreement with the workers compensation insurance company.  The insurance company will probably want to settle, but they do not have to settle.  If they will not settle your case, you cannot force them to settle.

The reason most insurance companies want to settle is that your case costs them money if it stays open.  They are paying for medical treatment and lost wages.  Settlement is a way for the insurance company to pay an agreed upon amount of money and not worry about your case anymore.

Suppose you hurt your knee at work and had to have knee replacement surgery.  Even after recovering from that surgery, you might not be able to go back to the job you used to do.  If you are not going to be able to go back to work with your employer (or do not want to), settlement will definitely be worth considering.

How do I settle my case for my knee injury?

Settlement is really just an agreement with the insurance company.  You agree to accept a certain negotiated amount of money.  In exchange, you give up your workers compensation rights for this injury.

The insurance company might make you an offer and you might accept it.  Or, you might make an offer and the insurance company might accept it.

But, settlement is not usually that easy.  If it was that easy, there is a good chance that you settled your case for a lot less than you should.

The insurance company is a business.  They want to settle your knee injury case for as little as possible because they save money when they do that.  Even if it made sense to them to pay $50,000 to settle your case, they would much rather settle it for $30,000 because they would save a lot of money.

You need to make sure that you do not give up your workers compensation case for less than you should.  After you settle, you may need some more medical treatment.  If you still have problems with your knee, you may find it difficult to return to work.  Getting a good settlement can provide you with some protection in case you do continue to have problems with your knee in the future.

Worried couple looking at bills 1Is there a specific settlement amount that I should receive for my knee injury?

No.  There is no certain amount under the law that the workers compensation insurance company has to pay for a knee injury settlement.  This applies regardless of what type of knee injury you have:

  • Meniscus tear
  • Anterior cruciate ligament tear
  • Patella fracture
  • Knee replacement surgery

Some people confuse settlements with permanent partial disability benefits.  Permanent partial disability benefits are paid in a specific amount and for a specific time based on a rating that your treating doctor assigns.

Settlement is different.  The amount of the settlement will depend on how much you or your workers compensation attorney can convince the insurance company to offer.  The ability to know how to convince an insurance company to pay more is what will determine whether your case settles for as much as it should.

What is the average settlement amount for a knee injury?

This is difficult to know.  The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation approves all Georgia workers compensation settlements.  But, the State Board really does not publish average settlement amounts for different types of injuries.

Even if the State Board did publish average settlement amount, this information is not particularly helpful in deciding what you should settle your case for.  Every case is different.  Just a few of the factors that should affect what you should accept in settlement are:

This is not a comprehensive list of all the factors that should affect a settlement amount in your case.  Other factors will be important as well.

How can I determine how much the insurance company should offer me in a settlement?

This is complicated.  When I evaluate a workers compensation case for settlement, I consider all of the different benefits that the workers compensation insurance company will likely have to pay my client in the future.  I use a detailed computer program to make sure I include everything.

Based on these calculations and my own experience, I make determinations to advise my clients about settlement.  After a discussion with me, my client makes a decision about whether they want to settle and, if so, what they would be willing to accept.  Then, I go to the insurance company and negotiate until I get their best offer.

You can approach settlement the same way.  You could evaluate your case and make a determination of how much you would be willing to accept.

The things that you may find difficult are accurately predicting what workers compensation benefits you will receive in the future.  You may also find it difficult to negotiate with the insurance company and convince them that your case will cost them a lot of money if they do not settle.

Knee replacementAre there reasons I might not want to settle my case?

Yes.  You never have to settle your case.  While it is certainly difficult to cover ever reason that you might not want to settle, here are a couple of reasons that are definitely worth mentioning:

  • You want to continue working at the company where you got hurt
  • You are about to have knee surgery or other major medical treatment for your knee injury

There is nothing that prevents you from settling your case in these two situations.  But, you should definitely pause and think long and hard before doing so.

Many employers will require you to give up your job and agree to not work there in the future if you settle your workers compensation case.  This is called a resignation and agreement not to reapply.  So, settling might not be a good way to go if you plan on continuing to work with the company and believe that they will keep you around long term.

As far as major medical treatment goes, settling your case before knee surgery can be very difficult because you will not know how the surgery is going to turn out.  In those situations, it is often best to wait until after surgery and recovery from surgery before settling.  But, there can be reasons that settling before having the surgery makes the most sense.

What happens if I do not settle my workers compensation knee injury?

If you do not settle your case, it stays open.  You may continue to receive workers compensation benefits if you are entitled to them.

If you want to find out more about the different types of Georgia workers compensation benefits, I would suggest that you take a look at the articles available on our medical treatment rights and workers compensation income pages.  The articles on these pages let you know a little more about how Georgia workers compensation works.

One very important thing to understand is that Georgia’s workers compensation law has deadlines and limits on benefits.  This means that you are limited in how long you can draw benefits.  You also sometimes have deadlines that you have to meet to draw additional benefits.  So, if you do not settle your case, there is a good chance that your benefits will stop in the future.

Do I need an attorney to settle my knee injury case?

You do not have to have a workers compensation attorney to settle your case.  However, I would strongly recommend that you speak to one before moving forward with settlement.  If you do not, you could certainly make a big mistake that would cost you a lot of money.

It does not cost you anything to have a consultation with me or another workers compensation attorney in our firm.  We provide free consultations so you do not have to worry about spending money to find out if an attorney would be able to help you.  This short article describes our firm’s free consultation process in more detail.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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