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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    2

    Default Rheumatoid Arthritis After A Knee Injury

    My husband is a Chef and hurt his knee at work carrying items up and down stairs because the service elevator was out for 3 days. He blew out his knee badly. About 6 months later he woke up and couldn't move...diagnosis...Rhumatoid Arthrits. His knee injury triggered the arthritis and now he works in severe pain, takes injections every other week and on a ton of medications. We recently retained an attorney to sue workmans comp. and I have NO clue how this will turn out. What these companies don't understand is these injuries are LIFE CHANGING not only to the person but to their families as well. I was seperated from my husband for 16 months due to this illness and the way it changed my husband physically and mentally...he feels worthless now.

    We now realize that this illness would not have come to light if he never hurt his knee int he first place and he will need medical care for the rest of his life. If he is disabled he will earn a mear fraction of what he earns now and we can't survive on that. His injections cost $1500 a month without insurance. He wakes up swollen and in pain where he can't even dress himself and he still goes to work.

    Has anyone had this happen...where they cannot function and their injury will be for a lifetime? I am not sure what the lawyer will do but we need security for the future that he will be medically taken care of.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: New Here...my Story

    Workers Compensation laws are state specific and you should review the laws of IL. and make yourself aware of what benefits your husband is entitled to.
    But, WC is basically set up to "cure and/or relieve'' the effects of a work related injury...that is, to restore the IW to 'function' to the point of being able to RTW...it's not intended to 'cure/relieve' pain. (although 'pain' treatment is a 'compensable consequence' to the injury)

    There are no provisions in WC for "pain and suffering" and there are no benefits for 'retirement', in that ''we need security for the future that he will be medically taken care of. '' Though some states provide a ''life pension'' (stipend) based on the PD rating.

    Your husband is/will be entitled to future medical benefits for the knee injury, based on "medical necessity" to probably the ACOEM guidelines, those are the guides most states use to determine the treatment for occupational injuries. But, again, WC should not be thought of a you would "regular health insurance''...it doesn't work the same...but rather it's more like a "health maintance organization''...HMO...you are only going to get the treatment allowed.

    Look at it this way...IF he fell at home, he/you would have NO benefits for this, other than your private health insurance, NO wage loss, and NO permenant disability if there is any as a result of the injury.
    IF there is any PD, you can also expect the rating to be reduced by "apportionment'' to the pre-exsisting condition (the arthritis..it was there, just not yet a problem)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,040

    Default Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis After A Knee Injury

    Did the doc say he got RA from a traumatic injury?

    That is a new one for me. One can certainly get traumatic arthritis from an injury, but are you sure the doc linked the RA to the injury? That may be a weakness in the case.

    But, under most state laws, long term medical coverage would be available for it if it is sufficiently linked to the injury.

    Good luck. Bob
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis After A Knee Injury

    Doctor said that RA trigger is not medically found HOW one gets it. My husband was VERY healthy before this knee injury and it is now all down hill since. Knee injury caused SOMETHING becuase he takes injections, steroids, anti inflamitory meds and can't move most of the time. Doc said arthritis can be TRIGGERED by a tramatic experience (loss of loved one) or injury. People have to be susceptible to arthritis and then the injury/trama triggers it. He DID say that the knee injury DID trigger the artritis so basically he would still be healthy now if not for the knee blow out.

    This is all new to me so any comments/info helps! It just seems to me that if you are injured on the job and it effects your life forever SOMETHING has to be done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis After A Knee Injury

    Given you husbands age it is more than likely that he had some form of degenerative arthritis prior to the industrial injury, and the injury aggravated a condition that had not yet reared its head.

    It is possible to have a progression of a condition enhanced by the rigors of the job and then have a single event trigger the entire problem.

    Just remember that in work comp, the employer is not held to the same standard as in tort - they do not take you as your are, meaning that the body part involved is subject to apportionment for any other condition known or not.

    RA is medically known to be a condition that is predisposed to some without any injury, we all have the gene in our system, it just depends on what brings the gene active.

    It would be best to have your doctor medically and scientifically relate the RA in his reports to have it considered a compensable consequence.

    hope this helps and best wishes.....roofs wife.

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