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The Pain Scale: Think Twice About Saying 10

“On a pain scale of 0-10, how bad is your pain?” This is a familiar question that is usually asked whenever you see a medical provider for an injury or illness. It’s important to answer accurately because it can affect how medical providers treat you and your credibility in your workers’ compensation or disability claim.

Rating pain on a 0-10 pain scale can be difficult because pain is a subjective experience: one person’s 7 can be another person’s 2. Pain can also change over time or when you engage in a different activity.

Attorney Groff On Panel at New England Workers’ Compensation Conference

Attorney Heidi Groff is excited to spend today at Gillette Stadium–although it’s for work not a sports event. She is attending the New England Workers’ Compensation Conference in Massachusetts, which brings together workers’ compensation professionals from around the region for learning and discussion.

Heidi is representing Vermont on a panel discussion about medical marijuana and alternative treatments at the New England Workers’ Compensation Conference.

Best Lawyers List Recognizes Heidi Groff and Pat Biggam

Biggam, Fox & Skinner, LLP

We are proud to announce that Best Lawyers 2017 has recognized Pat Biggam and Heidi Groff for their work with workers’ compensation claimants. Best Lawyers is a national publication that lists high-ranking lawyers and law firms. Our attorneys were selected by other lawyers in Vermont through a peer-review process. Congratulations to Pat and Heidi on being recognized for the superb job they do every day helping our clients with their workers’ compensation claims.

Read on for feedback from our clients about working with Pat and Heidi.

Thank Your Nurse on Nurses Day

This is National Nurses Week and today is International Nurses Day. It’s celebrated each year on May 12 in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. This year, American nurses are advocating for safe staffing. Lower staffing ratios result in better quality care for patients and safer working environments for nurses.

How You Can Support Vermont Nurses Today

  • Say thank you: Thank your nurse today for her dedication and hard work.
  • Educate your friends and family: Go to #safestaffingsaveslives on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to learn about safe staffing and two federal bills (HR 2083 and S.1132) that would mandate safe staffing ratios for nursing care.
  • Safe Staffing rally: On May 12, nurses will gather in Washington, DC for a grassroots event to raise awareness around safe staffing.
  • Ask a nurse to share his/her story: Nurses see firsthand how staffing affects the health and safety of patients and themselves. If you see a nurse today, ask him how many patients he has and what he thinks a safe staffing ratio would be.

Kids' Chance provides scholarships to children of injured workers

A Chance for Children of Injured Workers to Attend College

Kids’ Chance of Vermont provides need-based college scholarships to children of injured workers. They’re taking applications right now and are actively looking for people they can help.

Applications Due Next Month

Applications are due by April 29, 2016. If you’re interested, e-mail BFS paralegal Chris O’Neill at to request an application form.

Common sense will tell you that the family of a worker who suffers a serious injury or fatality at work usually doesn’t have extra money for big expenses like college. Kids’ Chance of Vermont helps by awarding scholarships to those children of injured workers who have graduated from high school and are interested in pursuing higher education.

Injured Workers Now Reimbursed for Every Mile Traveled to Medical Appointments

injured-workerAre you traveling to medical appointments to treat your work injury? If you have an accepted Vermont workers’ compensation claim, you can now get paid back for every mile you travel to and from medical appointments. In Vermont, insurance companies are required to pay all of  a workers’ compensation claimant’s medical expenses, including mileage reimbursement for travel to medical appointments. Previously, claimants could only get paid back for additional miles traveled over their round-trip travel to work. They had to subtract the number of miles they traveled to work and back from the number of miles they traveled to a medical appointment—even if they weren’t working anymore or if they weren’t going to the appointment from work. Now, claimants can get paid back for the full distance traveled to medical appointments. They no longer have to subtract their work commute miles. This makes it much simpler to calculate miles and, more importantly, it increases the number of miles that claimants can get compensated for. “As we observe the 100th anniversary of the workers’ compensation system in Vermont, it is more important than ever to uphold this vital safety net that helps injured workers rebuild their lives,” says attorney Ron Fox. “That’s why we at BFS support the new rule and are eager to see it implemented.”

Patrick Biggam Presents on Workers’ Compensation

Patrick BiggamAttorney Patrick Biggam, a founding partner of the firm, will present at a workers’ compensation seminar in Burlington, Vermont on May 12, 2015. With 35 years of experience helping injured workers, Pat will teach attendees about legal ethics and the general principles of workers’ compensation. The seminar, Workers’ Compensation Law & Practice is aimed at attorneys as well as professionals in the areas of HR, vocational rehabilitation, health and safety, occupational health, and mediation who are involved in the workers’ compensation process. To register, go to or call 715-855-0498.


Edward Shattuck, St. Johnsbury, VT

"I have been around a lot of attorney's offices; never been treated as well as Biggam, Fox & Skinner. Phone calls answered fast!"

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