Leg, knee and ankle injuries can be incredibly painful and disabling. Even a seemingly minor leg injury can cause a great deal of physical pain, inability to walk and stand, and this can be a real hardship as time goes on. You might miss work for quite a while. Before you can get back to normal, you may need physical therapy, transportation to doctors’ offices, prescription pain medications and even surgery. The costs of an injury can tally up quickly!
This article aims to help Southern Minnesota’s residents find answers to their leg, knee and ankle injury questions. We’ll touch on worker’s compensation for injuries that occur at work. We’ll also discuss other types of injuries. We’ll discuss insurance responsibility for leg, ankle and knee injuries.
What Minnesotans Need to Know About Leg, Knee and Ankle Injuries
If you’ve been injured, you’re not alone. A Working Plan for 2020, published by the Minnesota Department of Health, says “Unintentional injuries take the lives of more than 1,800 Minnesotans each year and send nearly 300,000 more to the [hospital].”
These 300,000 yearly injuries result in tremendous amounts of pain and suffering. Ankle, knee and leg injuries affect not only the injured individuals, but also their families, co-workers, and communities. Ultimately, the cost of unintentional injuries in Minnesota is in the billions of dollars each year.
- We all know the importance of our healthcare providers and hospital systems.
- In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that our healthcare systems are at risk of being overburdened, or close to that point.
- So we may need to stay out of hospitals — especially during the pandemic and the yearly “flu” season – unless it’s a real emergency.
- That means that sometimes people with leg, knee and/or ankle injuries cannot get the care they need right away.
Because of the limits on hospitalizations and outpatient care needed for leg, knee and ankle injuries — in 2020 and beyond — there may well be even more mental anguish and stress than they did pre-Covid. If you’re losing sleep because you’re concerned about seeking medical treatment for your injury, you should probably call a Southern Minnesota injury attorney.
In Minnesota, Many Ankle, Leg and Knee Injuries Happen at Work
Know that Minnesota, like all states, has a worker’s compensation plan. Work comp claims are processed through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Injury and the Office of Administrative Hearings. If you are a Minnesota employee and your injury occurred at work, you’re almost without exception entitled to worker’s comp benefits. You’ll need to file a worker’s compensation claim to help replace some of your income while recovering from your injury.
- Even if the injury is your fault, if it happened while you’re on the job in Minnesota, you are entitled to worker’s compensation.
Construction workers and laborers are usually at the highest risk for leg injuries, but a workplace injury can happen to anyone. The work you do has nothing to do with your ability to seek help from an expert injury attorney.
Slips, Trips and Falls Can Happen Anywhere
Southern Minnesota is known for blustery cold winters. This means an increased risk for injury as parking lots and sidewalks turn into skating rinks and puddles of water form as melting snow is tracked into buildings, for example. This can happen anywhere – but if it’s at work, workers’ compensation covers it. If you’ve suffered a painful leg injury at work in Southern Minnesota, some of the things you might be entitled to are:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Physical therapy costs
- A payment based on the percentage of permanent disability you suffer
- Assistance in getting back to work or even retraining
Understand that leg, knee and ankle injuries can cause significant long-term problems.
The Ongoing Pain of Leg, Ankle and Knee Injuries
Ankle injuries — soft tissue damages in particular — are challenging to diagnose, and may require MRI imaging. Broken bones, ankles and knees can cause a lifetime of aches and pains and increase your risk of painful arthritis as you age.
What Should You Do After a Leg, Knee or Ankle Injury?
Whether your injury happened at work or during your time, you must document the injury. Report it to your employer and SEE A DOCTOR SOON. Be honest with the doctor about how you got hurt – and where. You should tell the doctor that this happened at work if it did – not doing so can be used later to discredit your claim.
- If you got hurt at work — even if it’s your fault — let your supervisor know immediately.
- Document the injury on paper.
- Make sure the document is signed and dated by your supervisor and yourself.
- Keep a copy.
- See a doctor and give an accurate history and accurate details about your injuries.
- Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
If You Were Injured Elsewhere (Off Employer Premises But Working)
- Document the injury with the store manager or property owner.
- Write down what happened, and have them sign the paper if possible.
- Take the steps above regarding Workplace Injuries.
- Reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney – the workers compensation attorney will know good ones.
What if You Didn’t Know You Were Hurt?
Sometimes people fall or have an accident, but don’t feel pain right away. If you’ve ever been in a car accident but didn’t feel the aches for a few days, you know what we mean! It’s a common and legitimate situation. Soft tissue injuries, in particular, might not hurt until several days have passed. You probably still have a case.
Seek any medical help you need, and then reach out to an experienced leg, knee and ankle injury attorney.
- Remember, a good case has lots of documentation of how and where you got hurt and what injuries you suffered.
- Even during times of social distancing and isolation, you can contact your doctor by phone.
Be sure to keep copies of any emails and care directions. Keep receipts for prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, devices and medical goods. For instance, if you buy a bottle of aspirin and an ace bandage for your swollen ankle, keep the receipts. Cell phone pictures of bruises and scrapes might be helpful too.
Should You Accept an Insurance Settlement After a Knee, Leg or Ankle Injury?
Understand that insurance companies will try to settle an injury case, quickly and cheaply. An insurance representative might knock on your door and offer you a check for $5,000, $20,000 or even more. This can seem like a tremendous amount of money — especially if you’re missing work due to your leg injury! But when you consider the ongoing pain of your injury, your medical bills and use of pain medications, suddenly those thousands of dollars aren’t so impressive.
- Cashing a lump sum payment from an insurer could result in you closing your case. So, call a lawyer before doing so.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you feel a few thousand dollars covers your pain and suffering, your missed work, your risks associated with medical care, and your future chances of reinjury and arthritis. But we’d suggest you reach out to an experienced attorney first. A reputable workers’ compensation attorney will advise you for free – and most important will let you know what your rights are and what you are really entitled to.