Truck driver’s knee is a common knee injury suffered by truck drivers, also called patellar tendonitis or jumper’s knee. The condition affects the patella tendon, which connects your kneecap to your shinbone and helps your muscles straighten your knee during various activities.
What causes knee pain while driving?
Truck driver’s knee is caused by repeated stress and strain on the patellar tendon, which eventually causes small tears to form in the tendon. As more tears occur, they start to cause tendon pain and inflammation. The first symptom is typically a sharp pain just under the kneecap during physical activity. As the injury worsens, the pain may continue even when you are not physically active.
For truck drivers, the most common causes of patellar tendonitis include:
- Operating truck pedals for long periods of time
- Climbing in and out of trucks
- Jumping off trailers
Other risk factors for jumper’s knee include tight leg muscles, muscular imbalances, and being overweight.
How do I stop my knees from hurting when I drive?
There is a range of treatment options for truck driver’s knee that can stop your knees from hurting when you drive.
Once you have been diagnosed with patellar tendonitis, the first suggested treatment is rest and reducing the strain on the knee. Then, ice and anti-inflammatory medications can be used to reduce swelling in the patellar tendon, and massage and stretching can reduce the pain and irritation.
In later stages of treatment, your doctor may order strengthening exercises and body mechanic modification sessions with an agronomist, physical therapist or chiropractor. If no significant improvement to the condition occurs after 10 to 12 months of treatment, surgery to repair the tears and remove severely damaged sections of the patellar tendon may be the last option.
To reduce your risk of developing truck driver’s knee, avoid activities like jumping off of your trailer, as this puts excess strain on your patellar tendon. Using proper mechanics when getting in and out of your truck, maintaining a healthy body weight, and regularly stretching your lower body can also lower your risk of patellar tendonitis.
Can I sue my trucking company?
In many situations, you cannot sue your trucking company for injuries such as truck driver’s knee. However, you may be eligible for reimbursement through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that covers the costs of on-the-job injuries. However, not every trucking company offers workers’ compensation coverage, and even if yours does, workers’ compensation only protects employees of the company and not independent contractors. Insurance companies can also deny workers’ compensation claims. If any of these situations apply to your injury, you should consult with a truck driver lawyer to discuss your options.
If you accept workers’ compensation for your injury, you usually cannot also sue your trucking company. However, if the trucking company has insufficient workers’ compensation or its policy does not cover you, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
How do I file a claim against a trucking company?
Because there are limited circumstances where you can file a legal claim against a trucking company, your first step should be to discuss your situation with an experienced truck driver attorney. A personal injury attorney can review the circumstances of your injury, your trucking company’s workers’ compensation policy, and your employment situation to determine the best course of action for obtaining compensation.
When should I contact a truck driver lawyer?
If you’ve been diagnosed with patellar tendonitis, you should contact a truck driver lawyer as soon as possible. Because of the complicated nature of many truck driver employment relationships, a seasoned attorney can best advise on whether you can file for workers’ compensation or pursue a lawsuit.
Make sure you find an attorney who has extensive experience handling truck driver injury claims because these types of cases require an extensive understanding of the medical terminology and treatments involved. To receive maximum compensation, you should work with a truck driver lawyer who has the medical and legal knowledge necessary to handle the case.
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