Are Your Prescription Glasses Covered From a Workplace Injury?

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Is there a limit to how many body parts can be covered by workers compensation?

If there are medical records that prove the injuries are because of the workplace accident and the defendants—typically the employer and insurer—agree that they are compensable workplace injuries, then no, there is no limit to how many body parts can be covered by workers comp.

In the case of one of our clients, Mr. A, on top of several bodily injuries, he also got new prescription eyeglasses covered due to his on-the-job injury. He was working as an airport ramp service agent, which involved loading and unloading airplanes.

On June 18, 2015, due to a heavy rainstorm, passengers were deplaning and Mr. A was giving them umbrellas. Then, all of a sudden, Mr. A was hit by a metal staircase/ramp that was blown away from the plane.

The case went to court and Abrams Landau, Ltd. aided Mr. A in making a claim for these injuries: left elbow, left shoulder (pain), left arm (contusion), neck (cervical strain), TMJ, left hip (pain), left knee (contusion), left ankle (sprain), & right zygomatic arch fracture. Mr. A received Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits beginning June 19, 2015 and continuing of $333.68/week based on a pre-injury Average Weekly Wage (AWW) of $500.52. Lifetime medical benefits were also awarded.

Mr. A also made a claim to have his prescription glasses covered, but the employer and insurer defended the claim on the grounds that the need for replacement eyeglasses is not reasonable, necessary or causally related to the work accident.

So Mr. A, the claimant, testified that he was wearing prescription glasses at the time of the accident and that they were lost in the accident. He could not find them in the hospital. Upon further questioning, he stated that he wore his glasses all the time before the accident, and that he did not wear contacts. The claimant also testified that he told caregivers in the hospital that he lost his glasses, and that he asked his manager to replace them after the accident.

It wasn’t as simple as asking to have new prescription glasses covered on top of his numerous other injuries, but it was definitely possible with the right help. Mr. A should not have had to pay for new glasses since he lost them in a compensable workplace injury. To learn more about how to accurately calculate your average weekly wage for your workers compensation benefits, read our blog post here.

If you, or someone you care for, has been injured in an accident at an airport, whether in the terminal, on the AOA, on an airplane or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at Abrams Landau, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.