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Determining whether an injury happened at work

Each year in Pennsylvania, a number of workers are injured while on the job or as a result of their work conditions. While it is easy to determine that some injuries happened at work, such as a broken bone, other injuries require additional evidence showing they happened because of a person's occupation.

Injuries such as those resulting from repetitive stress or other such problems may not be as easily identifiable as those from an accident. For these injury types, treating doctors will determine whether or not they believe the injury happened because of a person's job activities. If they believe that it did, they will note it in the medical documentation.

Business Insurance reports that some doctors will say that an injury happened at the patient's job when it may have happened elsewhere. Some industry insiders believe that certain physicians will try to say an injury is a work-related one in order to recoup higher payments for medical care. Workers' compensation pays treating doctors and other medical professionals higher amounts than many medical insurance policies will. The industry calls this practice case-shifting as doctors are shifting cases out of the regular health insurance payment umbrella over to workers' compensation.

The idea of case-shifting demonstrates the type of argument a workers' compensation insurance carrier and an employer might make when there has been no clearly defined accident at work. People who have suffered an injury because of their jobs may want to get help from a workers' compensation attorney. An attorney may be able to help prove that the client suffered a workplace injury by gathering evidence showing how the injury originated.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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