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Television Golf Reporter, Sage Steele, sustained an industrial injury when a line drive golf ball struck her in the face at a Professional Tournament.  She sustained facial injuries which included dental.  She reported that she “the luckiest person in the world to still be here.” She reported “it is amazing how quickly life can change, right?” She reported that Steele said she has “a long way to go” in her recovery but extended thanks to all those who wished her well and her dentist for his extensive care.

This fact pattern addresses many issues in workers’ compensation.  There are venue issues and treatment issues. This story offers a touch on the reality of the impact of serious work injuries upon an employee.

Where Should This Claim Be Filed? 

Jurisdiction and Venue are legal terms which address the location legal action may be filed. In Workers’ Compensation Law, there are several factors which may impact both the state and the location of where an action is filed.   Factors that are consider include the location of the employment, the residence of the employee, and the location of the injury.  In this instance, Ms. Steele may work out of a particular state, i.e. California. As such, California a proper venue.

Are Dental Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Compensation? 

Yes. In California, dental injuries are covered.   Thus, dental treatment to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury are to be provides in accordance with Labor Code Section 4600.  Dental treatment is subject to Utilization Review.  Depending upon the nature of the dental condition, a lifetime award can be provided if medically indicated.   For those not having dental insurance, the award of future care can be invaluable.

What Is the Lesson From This Work Injury?

Work injuries can be life changing events.  Significant life changes can include permanent medical conditions that can cause pain or impairment.  Likewise, serious injuries can end one’s ability to perform their vocation.  Ms. Steele’s view of being lucky represents the reality for many workers.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

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