Can Workers' Comp Pay For Dental Injuries?
Regardless of what type of workplace injury you suffer, you are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical bills. Unfortunately, some workers are not aware that workers' comp also covers dental injuries that are work-related. If you suffered a dental injury in the workplace, here is what you need to know.
Which Dental Injuries Qualify?
Workers' compensation is designed to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages that result from a workplace injury. For instance, if you lose teeth after being hit in the mouth by a piece of equipment, your employer's insurance company should cover the cost of your bills.
However, workers' compensation does not just cover injuries that can be traced directly to a physical action, such as the equipment hitting you. If you suffered a dental injury that is related to the stress of your job, you could potentially file a claim and win. For instance, if your position is extremely stressful and causes you to grind your teeth, you could file a claim for any damage that results.
What Do You Have to Prove?
If your dental injury is the result of a direct physical action, you only have to prove that the action occurred. Using the previous example, co-workers or your supervisor could help back up your assertion that you were hit with a piece of equipment.
If your injury is related to stress, your case is a bit more complicated. You not only have to prove that your position caused you to suffer extreme amounts of stress, but you also have to prove that the stress manifested itself as teeth grinding that led to an injury.
How Do You Prove Stress?
One place to start in proving the stressful nature of your position is the actual requirements of the job. Make a list of all the duties that you are required to complete and whether or not there are any unrealistic demands placed on you. For instance, if you are expected to complete a day's work within a few hours' time, note it.
If you received counseling to help handle the stress, you need to obtain your medical records from the therapist who treated you. By seeking treatment for your mental health, you are helping to paint the picture that the stress you experienced went above and beyond what normally comes with a job.
You also need to ensure that your dentist has connected stress to your teeth grinding in his or her medical records for you.
Work with a workers' comp attorney to determine how else you can prove your dental injuries are work-related. Contact a firm like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP for more information.