Some workers, like those in the construction industry, are at a high risk of accident and injury by virtue of their job. A lot of these workers are employed without any incidents, but there are others who are involved in accidents or who perform tasks that lead to joint trauma. When joint trauma occurs, joint replacement surgery may be required. Sometimes, the joint trauma is so severe that a worker is rendered permanently disabled.
Injuries That May Require Joint Replacement Surgery
Three common parts of the body may require joint replacement surgery: the shoulder, the knee and the hip. During a joint replacement surgery, injured joints are replaced with artificial materials. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a total joint replacement surgery may be required for a number of reasons.
Often, joint pain is caused by damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones. This damage can be caused by arthritis, a fracture, or another injury or condition. A worker may have been in an accident that caused trauma to the joint – such as a slip and fall injury, crush injury, car accident and more – or may have sustained joint damage due to repetitive motions. Repetitive motions, such as overexertion, twisting, or stretching of the arms or other joints, and awkward motions can cause damage to the muscles and joints. When damage occurs, joint replacement surgery may be required.
Severe Joint Damage May Lead to Permanent Impairment
Sometimes, joint damage is so severe that, despite an attempt to repair the damage with joint replacement surgery, permanent impairment still occurs. Often a severe joint injury also will lead to post-injury arthritis, which can be painful and debilitating. When a workplace injury occurs that necessitates joint replacement surgery, workers’ compensation should pay for the surgery.
If the surgery is ineffective and does not fully correct the damage done to the joint, leaving the worker unable to return to work, the injured worker may be entitled to permanent total disability pension benefits.
Understanding Permanent Total Disability Benefits in Washington
A pension is a benefit paid monthly to a worker who is permanently and totally disabled from a workplace injury. The amount of the monthly benefit varies on a case-by-case basis.
In order to qualify for the benefits, a medical and vocational examiner will have to conclude that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from becoming gainfully employed. You also may establish that you lost use of both legs, both arms, or an arm and a leg to recover permanent disability benefits under Washington workers’ comp law.
In order to apply for permanent total disability benefits through workers’ compensation insurance, the first step is to notify your employer of the injury. Then you can file a claim for benefits online or through the phone.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Joint injuries are extremely painful and can destroy your ability to perform workplace tasks. If you’ve suffered a joint injury due to an on-the-job accident or injury, and if joint replacement surgery has been ineffective in correcting the damage, you may be able to qualify for permanent total disability pension benefits.
If you need help filing your claim for benefits or appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim, the attorneys at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC can help. To get started filing your claim today and getting the benefits to which you are entitled, call us today at 844-920-2438.