How much are knee injuries worth?

Value of Knee Injuries

I can relate to injured workers who hurt their knee.  I am no stranger to how debilitating an injured knee can be, and I understand the hard work that is often required during the rehab process.  During my college years, I tore my ACL at lacrosse practice.  During my post-op recovery I experienced a buildup of scar tissue that required a second procedure.  Then, a few years later, I tore my meniscus in a pickup game of basketball and underwent a THIRD surgery on the same poor knee.  It still gives me issues to this day.

In workers’ compensation, the value of a knee claim depends primarily on the facts of each particular case.  The more severe the injury, the more a case is worth.  The more treatment that is required, the more a case is worth.  A case requiring surgery is worth more than a case requiring physical therapy.  You get the picture.

Average value of Knee comp cases

According to the Comp Pinkbook, which studied workers’ compensation awards in Maryland over a period of 1.5 years, the average value of a permanent partial disability (“PPD”) award for a knee injury was $12,754, whereas the average settlement agreement was $25,453.  The reason the settlement value is greater than the PPD value is because a settlement closes a case forever, while a typical PPD award allows for a reopening due to a worsening of condition for a period of five years.

While the above figures represent the average award and settlement, some knee injuries are worth a whole lot more.  Again, the value of any given case will come down to its own unique facts.  That said, according to the Comp Pinkbook, the highest PPD award for a knee injury was $70,880, while the highest settlement for a knee injury was $275,000.

The Comp Pinkbook also recorded knee injuries in combination with other body parts.  For example, in cases where the knee and leg were both injured, the average award was approximately $18,000.  In cases with the knee and ankle, the average award was approximately $16,500.  For knee and back combinations, the average awards were $18,717, while the average knee and shoulder case came in at $29,506.  Knee and leg is $18,009 and knee and ankle is $16,509.  These averages are based on both PPD awards and settlements.

Treatment options for Knee injuries

Depending on the type of injury, your doctor may recommend a number of options.  Knee injuries can be treated by, among other options, ice and rest, physical or aquatic therapy, injections, surgery, etc.  Generally, an xray will be utilized to see any breaks or fractures in the knee cap or other bones, while an MRI will be ordered if your doctor thinks that there may be ligament damage.  Speaking from experience, if knee surgery is in your future, the importance of post-op rehab cannot be overstated.

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