I had Meniscus surgery 10 years ago and now need knee replacement surgery. I still have the same employer. When i have surgery i will be out of work for 3 months. I have lifetime medical on the injury. Do I have the right to file for workers comp benefits?
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
You probably have at least two possible options. The first is to claim medical expenses based upon the first work-related injury. The second option is to explore whether your continued employment has resulted in a further aggravation of the injury, resulting in a new injury based upon a claim of "occupational disease".
This second option could result in payment of temporary benefits and additional permanent disability benefits based on the new surgery.
I encourage you to check with a lawyer in your state to discuss your options.
Good luck in your surgery!
Employment / Labor Attorney
Yes, you have the right to pursue medical benefits. The question is whether your employer has to provide temporary disability benefits while you recover from the knee replacement. The employer will likely argue that you aren't entitled to temporary disability benefits while you recover because you were previously placed at maximum medical improvement after the meniscus surgery. I have seen the TN Department of Labor order benefits in the past and I've also seen them deny the TTD benefits. If, however, you can make the argument that you've sustained a new injury, you could be entitled to the medical treatment, temporary disability benefits and another award for permanent disability. Best of luck with your surgery.