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Help for the Pain


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Help for the Pain

A few years ago, one of my favorite people in the world, an elderly aunt of mine, fell down in a retail establishment. The floor at the business was wet and caused this special lady to fall. While she wasn’t seriously injured, she did hurt her leg. If the floor at this store hadn’t been wet or had been labeled as wet, she probably wouldn’t have been injured. If a similar situation has happened to you, consider contacting a reputable accident and personal injury attorney. This person can advise you about the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the business where you were hurt at. On this blog, you will discover the benefits of consulting with an accident and personal injury lawyer after injuring yourself at a place of business.

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Will Workers Compensation Pay For Substance Abuse Treatment?

When a person is injured in a workplace accident, the individual typically undergoes a variety of treatments to recover from the incident. Among other things, prescription drugs are frequently used to manage pain. If the person develops an addiction to the pain medication prescribed by the doctor, will workers' compensation pay for substance abuse treatment to help the individual break the habit? It depends on a couple of factors.

Workers' Comp Settlement Terms

One thing that significantly influences the answer to this question is whether or not you can continue submitting bills for medical care and other necessities for payment in your claim. This is possible if your claim is still open and has not expired.  For example, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will leave an unsettled claim open for anywhere from 5 to 10 years depending on if and when payments were made in the case.

If your case was closed or settled, you may be able to reopen it to file additional requests for coverage if you didn't sign an agreement releasing the agency from future claims. Commonly called a "full and final release," this clause effectively ends your ability to ask for more money for treatments, even if your condition worsens over time. So if your contract has this clause, then you can't proceed any further with a request to pay for substance abuse treatment.

The Relationship of the Substance Abuse to the Injury

Workers' compensation will typically only pay for medical care that's needed to treat the injury caused by the workplace accident. Therefore, you'll have to show that your substance abuse is directly connected to your injury. This can be immensely challenging to do because it's commonly believed there is some element of choice in the development of an addiction to prescription drugs.

Although there is evidence that some prescription narcotic drugs such as opioids are more likely to cause physical addiction due to the way the drug affects the body, your workers' compensation representative or a judge may not be convinced that the addiction is the direct result of the workplace injury and may deny your request for help with substance abuse treatment.

However, it may be possible to win the case if you're able to get medical experts to testify on your behalf about the addictive nature of some prescription drugs. For instance, opioids can increase pain sensitivity and lead the person to take more of the drug to compensate. This can easily lead to an addiction situation where the person finds it impossible to cease using the drug without some assistance. A combination of expert testimony and the presentation of other evidence supporting your claim, such as medical studies, could help you get money for drug treatment.

Litigating this type of claim can be complex and require unique resources to make a compelling case for compensation. Contact an attorney with experience in this area for assistance. One place you can check out is http://www.tarklaw.com.