Experienced trial lawyers With The Resources To Handle Your Case
The national trial lawyers
Best law firms us news 2017
Super lawyers
Million dollar advocates forum
Multi million dollar advocates forum
AV preeminent martindale-hubbell lawyer ratings
Litigator awards

Opioid crisis leads to changes in workers’ compensation laws

There is no question that the use and abuse of narcotics is dangerously high across the country. Reports of opioid overdoses and increased levels of addiction to painkillers make headlines almost nightly as the medical community, politicians and families try to figure out how to curb the use of these dangerously addictive drugs.

For many who suffer with addiction, their troubles began with a simple prescription. In fact, many struggling with opioid dependency began their dark journey with a workplace injury.

The dangers of prescription painkillers

Doctors seem to be quick to write prescriptions. In fact, in some cases, a doctor may prescribe far more pills for much longer time than you really need. These highly addictive painkillers don’t need long to seep into every area of your life, and many workers find themselves fighting a dependency that threatens their jobs, families and lives.

If you have ever taken prescription painkillers, you may know the feeling of euphoria and relief they bring. However, that feeling soon wears off, and you may need more pills to achieve the same effect. Soon, as with many addictions, the body needs the pills to avoid the pain of withdrawing from the medicine. This is the vicious circle of addiction.

Possible reasons for the changes

Recent data reports good news in several states. The Workers Compensation Research Institute just revealed that the number of opioid prescriptions written for injured workers seems to be declining rapidly. In fact, several states show that, in the past year, doctors have written up to 40 percent fewer prescriptions for narcotics for those workers who took at least a week off work but did not need surgery for a job-related injury. Analysts believe the drop may be due to any of the following factors:

  • Changes in public policies and strategies
  • Doctors seeking alternatives to assist patients with pain management
  • Implementation of state and local workers’ compensation reforms
  • Regulations placed on state and local pain clinics
  • Establishment of standards for dispensing opioids in some states
  • Other legislative reforms

While 26 states showed a marked decline in opioid prescriptions issued to injured workers, some states continue to dispense narcotic painkillers at alarming levels. In fact, if you are injured on the job here in Pennsylvania, doctors are still likely to write a prescription for narcotics instead of a less addictive alternative. This state is one of the top the report noted for having excessively high levels of prescriptions written for such painkillers.

The line between providing you with the medication and pain relief you need and setting you up for a lifetime of addiction is a fine one to tread. Injured workers like you depend on the benefits of workers’ compensation to help them through difficult times following a workplace injury. It remains to be seen how future changes in workers’ compensation laws will affect the way you receive medical care following an injury.

FindLaw Network
box-shadow

$375,000

Settlement for knee injury sustained in a motor vehicle collision with contested liability.

$5.5 Million

Settlement for spinal injury caused by delivery company's negligent vehicle maintenance

$5 Million

Settlement for traumatic brain injury

$1.2 Million

Settlement (Liability insurance limits) for death claim arising out of tractor trailer collision

$1 Million

Settlement for closed head injury/facial fractures due to negligent construction site practices

$1 Million

Arbitration award in death claim arising out of motor vehicle collision

$1 Million

Total workers' compensation settlement for injured worker who suffered orthopedic injuries and additional GI injuries due to prescription medications.

$890,000

Settlement for head injury of injured worker caused by negligent operation of equipment by a non-employer contractor on the job site.

$875,000

Settlement for ankle injury due to negligent dump truck operation

$675,000

Settlement for bilateral wrist injuries caused by the negligent operation of a tractor-trailer.

$600,000

Settlement for statutory cap of $500,000 for wrongful death of a worker who was killed when struck by a government-owned vehicle as well as policy limit for underinsured motorist coverage.

$450,000

Workers' compensation settlement for a nurse who sustained a low back injury requiring multiple surgeries.

$375,000

Settlement for knee injury sustained in a motor vehicle collision with contested liability.

$5.5 Million

Settlement for spinal injury caused by delivery company's negligent vehicle maintenance

box-shadow
quote-1
quote-1

what our clients say about us

“I would like to sincerely thank you for your efforts in resolving my personal injury case. The consistent professionalism you and your firm provided demonstrated exactly how law is suppose to be handled. You helped to change my life and I will forever be in your debt.” - Satisfied Client
“It was not an easy road for us but we knew that we had a great attorney that cared about his clients. You are a fantastic attorney.”
“Just wanted to thank you again, so very much, for the TLC given us during our unfortunate situation; so greatly appreciated the ease and smoothness of handling things – you had so much to do!”
view more