What Medical Bills Does Workers’ Compensation Pay?
The average injury-related medical bills in the United States often exceed $100,000. Citing liability concerns, most health insurance companies refuse to pay these costs. And, most families do not have the financial resources to pay them out of pocket. As a result, without workers’ compensation benefits, most job injury victims would have to make do with whatever care the company doctor provided.
No-fault benefits are available which pay these, and other, medical expenses. And, a determined Jackson workers’ compensation attorney knows how to obtain these benefits. There’s more. Workers’ compensation also replaces lost wages. So, job injury victims are able to pay their bills while they recover.
Types of Expenses
In severe trauma injury cases, most victims must be treated in out-of-state hospitals. The same thing is true for serious occupational diseases, like cancer and severe breathing problems. So, by the time these victims receive the treatment they need, their injuries or illnesses are usually more advanced and more difficult to treat.
A brief side note here. Most job injury victims in Mississippi can choose their own doctors. So, they do not have to settle for the closest hospital or a doctor whose name appears on a certain list.
After emergency care is finished, most victims need several follow-up treatments. Many victims are unable to leave the hospital until these treatments are finished. Either way, their medical expenses continue to climb.
Unfortunately, we are still not finished. Almost all job injury victims must undergo physical and/or occupational therapy. Physical therapy helps victims regain lost functions. Occupational therapy helps disabled victims learn new skills, so they can provide for their families. In most cases, workers’ compensation pays for several years of physical or occupational therapy, if necessary.
Injury victims must also deal with ancillary costs, like medical devices, prescription drugs, and transportation expenses. In most cases, workers’ comp benefits take care of these costs as well.
Many victims have pre-existing conditions or genetic predispositions which make them more vulnerable to certain injuries or illnesses. People with bad knees are more likely to sustain knee injuries, and people with a family history of cancer are more likely to develop this disease themselves.
For the most part, insurance companies cannot use these vulnerabilities as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation. Generally, a lawyer must simply prove that the job injury or illness aggravated the pre-existing condition, and not vice versa.
On a related note, it’s sometimes difficult to establish a work-related connection, especially in occupational disease claims. Hearing loss is a good example. Most people do not just hear loud noises at work. They hear them in other places as well.
Basically the same principle applies. An attorney must prove that the work-related connection was the primary cause of the injury or illness. Most people spend most of their waking hours at work. So, establishing this link is usually not a problem.
Many occupational disease victims do not know they are sick for several years, or even several decades. Even if the claims deadline has passed, these victims usually still have legal options, because of the delayed discovery doctrine. Victims are under no legal obligation to report their conditions until they understand the full extent of their injuries and they connect those injuries to events which happened at work.
Work with a Dedicated Attorney
Workers’ compensation takes care of medical bills. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Jackson, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. Home, virtual, and hospital visits are available.