Workers’ compensation may cover dental injuries resulting from workplace accidents. In Pennsylvania, injuries or diseases caused or aggravated by employment are covered under the state Workers’ Compensation Act. Most employees are covered by the Act, except for federal employees, independent contractors, and certain types of workers, such as farmers and domestic servants. If you have dental expenses or you need to have a dental procedure due to a work injury, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your legal options.
How Do Work-Related Dental Injuries Occur?
Workers in almost any industry can suffer dental injuries in a work accident. Car accidents, workplace violence, construction accidents, slip and falls, and repetitive stress injuries are common causes of dental injuries. Workers may lose or chip a tooth, develop temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), or require reconstructive face surgery due to a work injury, any of which may be covered under workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation for Dental Injuries
Employers with one or more employees in Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. They may obtain insurance from either state-run insurance programs or private insurance companies, or they may opt for self-insurance provided they meet certain requirements, such as implementing an accident and illness prevention plan.
Employees, including temporary and part-time workers, are entitled to compensation for certain expenses associated with injuries they sustain in the workplace. Unless they were engaged in horseplay or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, workers are generally entitled to compensation. Under the no-fault system, an employee may file a workers’ compensation claim and recover various types of benefits for their work injuries, including compensation for:
- Reasonable and necessary dental expenses, including medications, surgeries, and medical care
- Travel expenses to and from the dentist, the pharmacy, and the emergency room
- Time missed from work due to the dental injury
- Scarring and disfigurement to the neck or head
- Psychological and emotional injuries arising from the dental injury
- Aggravation of pre-existing injuries
Types of Dental Injuries Covered
In Pennsylvania, dental procedures, treatments, and therapy may be covered by workers’ compensation. Common types of dental injuries include:
- Lost tooth
- Loose, chipped, or broken tooth
- Broken jaw
- Tooth intrusion
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Dental trauma resulting in headaches and jaw pain
Pennsylvania workers must notify their employers of their work-related dental injuries within 120 days to remain eligible for benefits. If successful, they may be able to collect workers’ compensation for dental procedures, such as:
Workers’ Compensation Denials and Appeals
Workers’ compensation insurance companies often deny dental injury claims by arguing that the dental work is merely cosmetic and unnecessary, or they tend to offer lower-cost dental care. Injured workers may, therefore, wish to contact a local attorney who can ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled. Employers may also attempt to dissuade workers from filing and may initially deny claims for several reasons, including improper reporting, insufficient information, and suspected fraud.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Compensation for Dental Injuries
If you need a lawyer because you sustained a dental injury due to a workplace accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in handling difficult, complex claims and can help you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
Located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.