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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Obtaining Certain Treatment for Workplace Injuries May Require Pre-Approval

Oct 31, 2016 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

As a general rule, any employee who sustains a workplace injury in Alabama expects to seek immediate treatment under workers’ compensation. However, the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Administrative Code requires pre-certification in certain relatively-common situations. These requirements can leave injured workers facing significant out-of-pocket expenses. Still, the rules can be open to a certain degree of interpretation. It helps to become familiar with the pre-certification process that can occur between medical providers and individuals representing the details of claims. Most importantly, injured employees should seek advice from an experienced Tuscaloosa workplace injury lawyer before assuming that they are responsible for personally paying the expenses. How Pre-Certification Works Meeting pre-certification requirements is the responsibility of medical providers — not injured employees. Once providers determine that emergency conditions do not apply, the Code requires that they apply for certification before rendering certain medical services, such as (but certainly not limited to) the following: Inpatient admission of any type Elective procedures, including ambulatory or outpatient surgery Outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy Chiropractic services Medical management services requested by the employer The list extends to ambulance services and any number of pain management procedures, durable medical equipment other than items such as braces and splints and items that require reimbursements of $500 or more. Even procedures that injury victims assume to be necessary — such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scans that are commonly used diagnostic procedures — can be subject to denial in many cases. Denial […]

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Sleep Apnea in Truckers Places Motorists at Risk

Oct 21, 2016 - Truck Accidents by

Many drivers have nodded off for a split second behind the wheel. This experience is as terrifying as having no memory of driving the last 5 or 10 miles. Drowsy drivers take real risks with their own lives and those of others. Place the drowsy driver in control of a massive tractor trailer truck, and the risks increase dramatically. Each Tuscaloosa truck wreck lawyer at our firm is pleased that hours of service laws help ensure that truckers take the time for the rest they need. Unfortunately, the right number of hours of sleep does not necessarily create enough rest when medical conditions affect the quality of sleep. One Study Shows Sleep Apnea to Be a Notable Issue for Truckers Simply stated, sleep apnea is a breathing-related disorder that interrupts breathing during sleep. In its extreme forms, this condition can be life-threatening. Since just about any level of severity can interrupt restful sleep, however, it leaves many individuals drowsy even after they believe they had a good night’s sleep. An article published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cites one study that states that 28 percent of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea. The article goes on to list a wide array of factors that places individuals at higher risk for this disorder, including (but not limited to) the following: A family history of sleep apnea Overweight Certain physical attributes, such as a large neck, recessed chin and others Smoking and alcohol use Age over 40 […]

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