Archive for December, 2016

Delays in Treatment Show Workers’ Comp Insurers Don’t Care About Rhode Island Workers

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyWorkers’ compensation insurers are paid premiums by employers to provide coverage if an employee gets hurt on-the-job. Unfortunately, some of these insurers seem to care more about making money than they do about fulfilling their obligations. Workers who get hurt are suffering greatly because insurers are stretching out the time it takes them to pay for medical care, sometimes even outright denying care that should be covered.

Since insurers are focused only on their bottom line, injured workers need to make sure they have an advocate to help them deal with workers’ comp insurance companies. If you are hurt on-the-job and are struggling to get medical care bills paid for by an insurance company, you need to have a legal advocate on your side.

Workers’ Comp Insurers Causing Unnecessary Delays in Work Injury Treatment 

NBC reported recently on the difficulties that injured workers are having getting their treatments covered by workers’ comp. Workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to pay for all necessary medical care arising out of work injuries.

There are times when care must be approved for it to be paid for. This is an especially big issue for employees who have serious and complex work-related illnesses or injuries or for employees who need ongoing treatment for medical conditions that developed over a long period of time.

Workers are submitting requests to try to get care, and some of these requests either go unanswered for months or end with a denial of legitimate care. According to one survey of physicians who treat workers’ comp patients, more than half said their patients had experienced denials of coverage for care considered medically necessary, including both diagnostic services and actual treatment. A bigger percentage of physicians, 67 percent, said delays and other problems had occurred when trying to get workers’ comp to pay for patient care.

Not only does this practice of delaying and denying end up causing workers to linger in pain, but it can also end up causing workers to get worse. Some workers told NBC about deteriorating body parts due to delays in treatment. Others reported longer recovery periods before they could get back to work. Since ongoing disability benefits have to be paid if it takes longer for an employee to go back to work, insurers are not doing themselves any favors by causing injured employees to have to draw out their recovery period.

Injured employees should get all of the care deemed medically necessary in an efficient and timely manner so they can recover and get back to work. When insurers fail to keep the promise to cover workers that they made by accepting premiums, they should be held accountable by the injured employees whose health is being compromised by insurance industry shenanigans. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in trying to get benefits paid as needed.

Dec 2016

Is a Toy Maker Responsible for Preventing Holiday Accidents This Holiday Season?

Massachusetts personal injury

Pick up the doll

Any parent of a young child knows which toys top their holiday gift wish list. But not every toy turns out to be a fun thing for kids to play with. Toys can present unexpected risks. They can be defective and dangerous. When a problem with a toy arises, a child could be seriously hurt or even killed. If a child is harmed as a result of a defective toy, it is possible the toy manufacturer could be held accountable for the consequences of the incident.

Is a Toy Maker Responsible for the Prevention of Holiday Accidents?

Toy manufacturers, like the manufacturers of any product, are expected to release only safe products to the public. There are especially rigorous standards for the production of toys because children will be playing with these items.

In addition to making certain children’s toys are as safe as possible, manufacturers of kids’ toys also have an obligation to make certain that parents are warned if toys have inherent risks. For example, if a toy comes with any small parts that could present a choking hazard to a small child, the toy manufacturer should provide a warning about the choking risk.

If a toy manufacturer releases an unsafe or defective toy to the public, or fails to provide appropriate warning to parents who purchased the toy for their child, they could potentially be held legally responsible for any harm that occurred due to the toy maker’s failures.

It would be up to parents to prove the toy company either released a defective product or negligently failed to issue a warning about the toy’s risks. If the parents pursue a claim against the toy company due to a defect in the product, parents do not need to prove negligence in order to be able to hold the toy company accountable for damages. However, whether parents claim a defect or a failure to warn about risks,  parents do have to demonstrate that the child was harmed in some way by the incident.

The problems caused by dangerous and defective toys are not insubstantial. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that a total of 254,200 toy-related injuries occurred in 2015 that warranted emergency room treatment in U.S. hospitals over the course of the year.

Since the holiday season is prime time for new toys to be introduced into the home, it becomes essential for parents to be vigilant about what their kids are playing with so those children do not get hurt or even killed by a toy with a defect. Ultimately, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to keep kids safe, but parents can do their part too to help prevent dangers, including checking the CPSC website regularly to determine if there were any recalls or warnings released about new toys which may end up in the hands of kids over the course of the holiday season.