Medical care providers face health and safety risks every day simply by doing their job. Naturally, there are many workers’ compensation claims for those injured while providing healthcare across the U.S. As a result, healthcare companies must provide workers’ compensation benefits for healthcare workers they employ.
When a healthcare worker gets hurt on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim. As a result, they can receive benefits, such as immediate medical costs, ongoing medical costs, lost wages, and disability benefits. These benefits can help them avoid financial strain if they have to miss work or have extensive medical bills because of their injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Healthcare Employees Receive
When a healthcare worker sustains an injury on the job, they can receive various benefits, including:
- Immediate medical costs like ambulance rides, emergency room care, diagnostic testing, hospitalizations, or doctor’s visits.
- Ongoing medical costs, such as follow-up appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, or medications.
- Lost income the employee had to give up while recovering from their injuries.
- Disability benefits if their injuries lead to partial or permanent disability, causing them to miss work far into the future.
These benefits can help healthcare workers avoid financial issues and heal from their injuries. In addition, having access to medical treatment can help healthcare workers get back to work faster.
Healthcare Often Occurs in a Hazardous Work Environment
Healthcare workers must have workers’ compensation benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that healthcare workers face a wide range of hazards on the job, including:
- Sharp objects
- Drug exposure
- Back injuries
- Exposure to latex
While healthcare companies put safety precautions and procedures in place to prevent these hazards from causing injuries, accidents still happen.
Common Injuries Healthcare Workers Sustain
Healthcare workers are at risk of sustaining many injuries because of their exposure to workplace hazards. Common injuries include:
- Sprains or strains: Sprains and strains are some of the most common injuries for healthcare workers. They typically work long hours and perform repetitive motions. They could also sprain or strain a body part by slipping, falling, or lifting heavy objects.
- Concussions: Concussions are often related to slips and falls. Healthcare workers are often in environments where fluids or other objects are on the ground. When someone slips, trips, or falls, they could hit their head, causing a concussion.
- Exposure to harmful substances: Healthcare professionals are frequently exposed to hazardous substances, from harsh disinfectants and sterilizing agents to anesthetic gases and other medication residues. Constant exposure to even low levels of such substances can have disastrous health consequences.
- Exposure to harmful viruses: Many people seek help from medical professionals when they have a virus, which naturally exposes the attending healthcare workers to the illness. This, in turn, increases the chances of nurses, doctors, and aides getting sick themselves.
- Injuries from violent patients: Unfortunately, a common occurrence healthcare workers must deal with is violent patients. They can sustain a myriad of injuries with varying severities. Patients can cause something as small as a bruise or small cuts or something as severe as a traumatic brain injury or broken bone.
- Sticks from needles: Healthcare workers can accidentally stick themselves with needles for several reasons (most commonly when a needle doesn’t get disposed of correctly or when they recap a needle). Needlestick injuries can lead to serious and fatal infections, such as hepatitis or even HIV. Any healthcare worker who comes into contact with needles is at risk of sustaining a needle stick injury.
Many of these injuries can cause long-lasting impacts on the healthcare worker. A serious injury or illness could cause them to miss work for a long time or diminish their earning capacity. For this reason (and many more), workers’ compensation benefits for healthcare workers are essential.
Steps Healthcare Workers Can Take to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits
After a healthcare worker sustains an injury, there are steps they can take to increase the chances of having their workers’ compensation claim approved, including:
- Reporting the injury or illness to their employer. To get workers’ compensation benefits, the employer must know about the injury and how it occurred. Report the injury as soon as possible and fill out an accident report if needed.
- Seeking medical treatment for the injuries. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, a medical professional must provide a diagnosis. Getting medical treatment soon after the accident can help ensure the medical care provider can link the injuries to the workplace accident.
- Contacting a workers’ compensation attorney. Anyone going through issues with workers’ compensation could benefit from an attorney’s legal advice, especially if their claim was denied. An attorney can provide guidance, help with the claims process, and ensure there is enough evidence for the injured party to submit a successful claim.
A workers compensation attorney Los Angeles can take care of most of the logistical matters so the healthcare worker can simply focus on recovering from their injuries. They can also ensure that the proper timelines are met so the healthcare worker doesn’t miss out on their opportunity to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Our Attorneys Can Help Healthcare Workers Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits
For more information about workers’ compensation benefits for healthcare workers, contact the attorneys at KJT Law Group. Our team has helped many healthcare workers get the benefits they need to avoid paying out of pocket for injuries they sustained in the workplace. Workers shouldn’t have to cover the costs of treating injuries they sustained while at work. Fill out our online contact form or give our office a call today at (818) 507-8525 to schedule your free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. Our legal team can explain your options and together we can develop a plan to move forward.