Injured PennDOT Worker Wins Workers’ Compensation Benefits Award that Covers the Cost of His Massage Therapy
When you’re hurt at work, the injury you suffer could affect you in many ways. One of these ways is the considerable expenses that your injury may cause you to rack up. Sometimes, those services that you’ll need may involve physical therapy or rehabilitation. Other times, they might involve things like massage therapy. Regardless of what your post-injury needs were, what you obviously want from your workers’ compensation claim is an award of benefits that fully compensates you for the expenses you incurred. To achieve this goal, it is important that you work with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney to seek the full award of expenses that your injury cost you.
One example of a worker who was successful recently was Leslie, a worker for the state Department of Transportation. While working for PennDOT, the man suffered an injury to his lower back. The department issued something called a “notice of compensation payable,” which is the document through which the employer or insurer states that you suffered a workplace injury and the employer or insurer acknowledges its legal responsibility.
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover a variety of losses. Obviously, you can receive an award of benefits to cover wages that you lost because you were disabled (either temporarily or permanently) and unable to work. You can also receive an award of benefits to cover the cost of medical care as well as medical devices that you required as a result of your workplace injury.
In Leslie’s situation, he needed a walker, which he purchased online for $118. His chiropractor also recommended massage therapy, which Leslie underwent at an out-of-pocket expense of $60 per hour. The employer did not reimburse the employee for the out-of-pocket costs of the massage therapy sessions.
The law says that, when you suffer a workplace injury, your employer or its insurer must pay for the reasonable services provided by doctors or other health care providers. The issue in Leslie’s case was whether his massage therapy was an included type of activity and whether the therapist was a valid provider of services for which the law required the employer to pay. In order to be a covered expense, the massage therapy must be provided by a licensed therapist and done as an employee or agent of a practitioner like a chiropractor.
Services for which you can receive compensation are not limited to medical treatment. They can also include “methodologies intended to enhance an injured worker’s health and well-being.” The proof that the workers’ compensation judge received in Leslie’s case clearly indicated that he would not have undergone massage therapy if it were not for his workplace injury.
Leslie also had the proof he needed when it came to his therapist. The evidence indicated that the worker underwent his massage therapy at his chiropractor’s office. Leslie also had proof that the chiropractor’s office’s website included a page displaying the therapist’s professional biography and describing her as “our massage therapist.” Based upon this proof, the massage therapy was provided as a part of Leslie’s overall treatment regimen directed by the chiropractor, and the therapist qualified as an agent of the chiropractor. That made the therapy covered by the law and the worker entitled to reimbursement.
If you’ve suffered an injury at work, contact the knowledgeable Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys at Needle Law Firm. Our team can help guide you through the process and pursue the award of benefits you need. We have been providing knowledgeable representation and personalized attention to our clients for many years and are here to discuss your matter with you.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 570-344-1266.