If you use internal medical equipment like a pacemaker/defibrillator or a replacement joint, an injury at work that also damages your medical equipment can make a stressful time even worse. You’re worried about healing your body, but also about getting the expensive equipment fixed.
What is Internal Medical Equipment?
Internal medical equipment is medical equipment that is in your body to help your body heal or function. Some common examples of internal medical equipment include pacemakers/defibrillators, replacement joints, screws and plates (such as to help a previously-broken bone), stents, and cochlear implants. This list does not include all types of medical equipment that might be in your body.
Workers’ Comp and Damaged Internal Medical Equipment
If internal medical equipment you already have is damaged in a work accident, it is the responsibility of the workers’ comp insurance company to pay to fix it. Fixing the equipment may include replacing it, including paying for surgery, your hospital stay, and physical therapy afterwards. Paying for the repair or replacement of your internal medical equipment is a part of paying for your medical benefits as part of the workers’ compensation claim.
If your internal medical device is damaged when you’re in an accident or get injured at work and you know about it when the accident happens, go ahead and mention it to your boss when you tell them about the event – especially if the damage means that you’ll need extra help to get to the doctor.
Make sure that the doctor that you see knows about any and all medical devices that you use. If you’re not sure if the medical device is still working properly, ask the doctor to examine it. If it is damaged, the doctor can help arrange for you to get a new one and can work with you for what you should do if you have to wait for it.
Here is an example: You have a cochlear implant to help you hear. It is working perfectly and you do not have any concerns with it. One day at work, a heavy object that was not put away properly falls from a shelf and lands on you. You fall and hit your head right where the cochlear implant is.You have a head injury, and the implant is damaged. You will now need to heal from the head trauma and have the implant replaced. Because the injury at work caused the need for the cochlear implant to be replaced, workers’ comp will cover the cost of the new implant,including the surgery to remove the old one and put the new one in and any follow-up care you need as a result of the new implant.
If an accident at work makes a pre-existing condition worse, don’t delay – call HammondTownsend today at 888-580-9048 for a free consultation.
HammondTownsendis a workers’ compensation law firm with offices located in Manassas, Richmond,Roanoke, Fishersville and Charlottesville.
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