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2nd degree frostbite on knee after PT ordered by doctor for injured knee, covered by work comp (Illinois)?

Moline, IL |

A year ago I slipped on wet floor and tore MCL, underwent PT but pain did not go away so had diagnostic arthroscopy in May. Diagnosis was tilted knee cap causing compression. Recommendation was more PT. Couple of weeks ago while at therapy, I got frostbite from an ice pack. Should work comp be covering this? Work states that the PT should be liable and as of now I am paying my own medical bills for this. Is it time to get an attorney?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. This is not a WC case. You should bring your medical records to a personal injury or medical malpractice attorney for review. Did a physician actually diagnose you with frostbite. It is highly unlikely you received frostbite from an ice pack.


  2. Theoretically, any malpractice that occurs during a WC cases is part of the WC case, but i suspect the carrier will ignore you unless you get a lawyer. I've had cliients get injured during PT and it is always a fight to get the "additional injury" treated.

    Further, you do have a PT malpractice case, if they left the ice on too long, but it's not worth pursuing, since any malpractice case would cost ten times or more in costs (I'd start at about $20K) thatn you'd ever get for damages. A frostbitten kneecap isn't worth much. My frostbitten fingers and toes are not worth anything since they were no one's fault but my own, running and riding outside, but they hurt all the same.

    I think for any WC case you should get a lawyer, especially since it's a very complex system and nearly no one off the street can compete with the insurance companies to get a fair shake.

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


  3. The injury that occurred during physical therapy should be covered under the workers' compensation claim. The argument would be made that the injury in physical therapy was part of the same chain of causation from the initial injury at work. I would recommend that you obtain an attorney at this time. The attorney can work to have the bills for all of the treatment related to your work injury paid by the workers' compensation insurance carrier.


  4. YES, it's to get an attorney.

    First of all, yes, the physical therapy bills should still be covered under workers comp. That is just a relatively small point.

    You have a very serious injury. If the workers comp adjuster is being difficult about paying a PT bill, do you imagine that the same person will offer you a fair settlement for the underlying injury?

    Get a free consultation with an experienced workers comp attorney ASAP.

    Steven A. Sigmond
    Chicago, IL

    A free consultation is not legal advice, nor is the answer to the question listed above or anything posted on this website. This answer is general information. Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case. The Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond offers a free initial consultation (not legal advice) regarding personal injury and workers comp in Illinois.


  5. It is absolutely covered under Workers' Compensation.

    In Illinois, an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney is ALWAYS warranted - no exception. Find an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney here on AVVO through the "Find a Lawyer" tab above. Attorneys on AVVO want to help you but they are NOT permitted to solicit your business. YOU must contact them. Good luck.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.

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