Jul 2023

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover a Torn Meniscus?

torn meniscus at work; RI and MA workers' compensation lawyer

A torn meniscus is a common work-related injury that can be painful and debilitating. This type of injury affects your ability to work and engage in daily activities. If you suffered a work-related torn meniscus, it’s important to understand your rights and the process involved in recovering workers’ compensation benefits.

Know what to do if you experience this type of knee injury

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage located in each knee joint. There are two menisci in each knee, one on the outer side (lateral meniscus) and the other on the inner side (medial meniscus). These structures act as cushions or shock absorbers between the thigh bone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia).

How a workplace injury can happen

Menisci play a crucial role in maintaining knee stability, distributing weight across the joint, and reducing friction during movement. But each meniscus is vulnerable to injury due to its location and structure and the demands placed on the knee joint during various activities.

The structure of the meniscus is soft, rubbery cartilage that is more prone to tearing compared to other structures in the knee, such as ligaments. The pressure placed on the meniscus during weight-bearing activities increases the risk of injury, especially if excessive force or twisting motions are involved.

Workers involved in physically demanding jobs or those required to perform repetitive motions are more likely to suffer a torn meniscus. Some common scenarios that may lead to this injury at work include:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Twisting or pivoting motions during work activities
  • Repeatedly kneeling or squatting
  • A sudden, forceful impact to the knee during workplace accidents.

Is a torn meniscus covered under workers’ compensation?

In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the answer is “yes” if the injury is work-related and occurs during the course of employment. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover all medical expenses related to your injury, as well as partial wages while you are unable to return to work.

But there are steps you should take to ensure that you meet the requirements for a workers’ compensation claim. After you are injured:

  • Inform your employer about the injury as soon as possible.
  • Get medical treatment. A doctor can begin treatment and document the injury to help establish a link between the torn meniscus and your work-related activities.
  • Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney can help you file a claim for benefits and guide you through the process every step of the way.

Do I need a lawyer for a claim involving a torn meniscus?

There is no requirement in Massachusetts or Rhode Island to have an attorney when seeking workers’ compensation benefits. But the process can be complicated, and claims are often disputed or denied. An experienced attorney will be familiar with state laws and how the system works.

A lawyer can:

  • Complete all necessary paperwork correctly and ensure all deadlines are met
  • Gather evidence in support of your claim (such as medical reports and witness statements)
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and adjusters
  • Make sure that healthcare providers who treat your injury take you seriously
  • Help you file an appeal if your claim is denied
  • Represent you at all hearings.

The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl fights for injured workers. We know what it takes to get a workers’ compensation claim approved. Our firm puts in the work to build a strong case for benefits and will fight for you right from the start.

If you suffered a torn meniscus on the job, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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