Arizona Workers Have No Blanket Right to Travel Expenses in Injury Cases

February 27, 2015

A court ruling says Arizona workers being treated for on-the-job injuries aren’t entitled to travel expenses if they haven’t shown they cannot get necessary care locally.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the workers’ compensation case of a Flagstaff city employee seeking reimbursement for traveling to Phoenix for treatment of neck pain.

The worker initially was treated in Flagstaff but still had pain that wasn’t relieved until after he had surgery in Phoenix.

The court’s ruling said workers’ compensation claimants can select their treating physicians but for now there’s an entitlement to travel expenses only if necessary treatment isn’t available locally.

A ruling said it’s appropriate to leave it up to the Legislature to decide whether the workers’ compensation system should provide a blanket entitlement for travel expenses.

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