Does my company owe me for losing teeth on the job?
I am a welder and while at work a piece of tubing that was placed on top of a shelf fell. The tubing hit me in the face and broke two of my teeth and knocked out three others. I reported my injuries and was in extreme pain for several days before the dentist could remove the broken teeth and give me false teeth. My insurance paid for this dental procedure.
After the procedure I returned to work because I needed the holiday money for my family. I asked around if I was going to be given workers comp and my supervisor told me that I would probably receive some, but that the issue was handled by my job's insurance company.
After 3 weeks, I called only to be told I would receive nothing because I have no lasting injury.
I am furious because I suffered through a lot of pain for multiple days and how could the fake teeth in my mouth not be considered lasting injuries? Do I have a legal case against workers comp and if so how should I proceed? Any direction you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Does my company owe me for losing teeth on the job?":
Jerry (Rosemead, California):
From the facts you present, you seemed to have received some incorrect information from the workers compensation representative. In the State of California, loss of teeth are considered a permanent partial disability. As such, you should have received a disability payment.
According to the State of California’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, loss of teeth are covered under Section 8 CSR 50-5.010 - Determination of Disability - Ratings for Loss of teeth.
You make a reference to the pain you endured. While there is no doubt your pain was real, workers compensation benefits usually do not include pain and suffering.
If the workers comp representative continues to deny your claim, you would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced workers compensation attorney. Most do not charge for an initial office consultation.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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