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Case shifting and workplace injuries

Each year, many Oklahoma employees suffer injuries related to their jobs or that occur in workplace accidents. According to industry insiders, some doctors will attribute injuries that are not directly traceable to a person's employment to the workplace anyway because of the higher payment rates they can receive from workers' compensation rather than health insurance.

Business Insurance reports that physicians who complete the examinations of workers may state that some injuries, such as soft-tissue injuries, are work-related. According to Business Insurance, insurance through workers' compensation doesn't enjoy the same group discount rates as does regular health insurance and doctors may state an injury is work-related simply so they can get paid the additional amounts.

When there is an obvious accident in the workplace that causes injuries such as fractures, the eligibility for workers' compensation is more straightforward. Industry insiders instead question injuries that are not as obvious and their designation as work-related injuries.

The report demonstrates how employers and their carriers may attempt to dispute a worker's eligibility for workers' compensation when there hasn't been an obvious accident. Many job-related activities can lead to workplace injuries or illnesses, however, including repetitive motions, improper lifting, excessive noise and toxic exposure. People who have been injured or sickened due to their work may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may pay for the worker's medical expenses, treatment costs, needed prescriptions and monthly disability payments if the person is rendered unable to work. Injured employees may want to consult with a workers' compensation attorney about their case and injuries.

Source: Business Insurance, "Certain employee injuries being shifted to workers compensation," Stephanie Goldberg, March 10, 2016

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