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Do you think this is a Workers Comp. issue? (details follow)

Asked by rojo (15028 points ) February 11th, 2013

Had a question today about whether a broken prothesis was a workers comp. issue or whether the person just had to suck it up and pay the repairs themselves.

Q: Did it happen on the job?
A: Yes
Q: Was it a consequence of being on the job?
A: I don’t know.
Q: Do you do anything on the job that you would not be doing off the job?
A: Well, I am up and down ladders all day long.
Q: And that stresses out the prosthesis?
A: Definitely, I put all the weight on the leg every other step. And it is a narrow step.
Q: Where it broke, can you make a reasonable tie-in to this activity?
A: Yes.

So, to my way of thinking, even thought it is a mechanical device, it is a workers’ comp. issue just like a stress fracture, a broken ankle or a bad case of carpal tunnel.

What are your thoughts?

BTW: The person was/is working on a construction site and did not end up filing a workers’ comp. claim for fear of being terminated.
It has been my experience that it is not unusual in the construction field to forgo filing. It is the brave individual who will actually make his employers insurance cough up for a valid claim and go through the persecution that is sure to follow. Even if they are not fired, the work environment can be made unbearable enough that they eventually quit.

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