The health care sector is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. An estimated one in eight Americans is employed in the sector. Even though healthcare isn’t considered by many to be a dangerous occupation, employees face some unique hazards every day.
People working in hospitals are more likely to suffer an injury or illness that results in days off work than construction or manufacturing employees. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It may be surprising since construction sites and factories are traditionally thought of as hazardous. However, it has been argued that while these industries have taken steps to improve workplace safety over the years, hospitals have not kept pace.
Of course, it’s not only hospital workers who are in danger. People who work in clinics, doctors’ offices, and long-term care facilities can also be harmed. Sometimes, they put their own health and safety at risk to assist patients. Let’s look at some of the injuries they may receive. Contact our Florida workers’ comp attorneys today.
Injuries in Health Care
Healthcare professionals are at risk for several types of injuries.
- Infections and blood-borne diseases. Exposure to airborne pathogens, bodily waste, and blood is common. Workers are therefore at risk of developing HIV or hepatitis.
- Back injuries. These can result from the bending, twisting, and quick movements that form part of a normal day. Lifting and moving patients can put lots of stress on the spinal cord and back muscles.
- Bone fractures. Healthcare professionals are more prone to slips and falls because they are always moving. Sometimes, they have to rush from one place to another to see to the needs of a patient. Fractures can also occur if they are attacked or unintentionally injured by an agitated patient.
- Cuts and puncture wounds. Scalpels, scissors, needles, and other sharp instruments can cause injuries even if they’re just slightly mishandled.
Collecting Compensation Following a Workplace Injury
Regardless of the type of injury you have, you should be able to get the relevant amount of compensation provided under the law. The workers’ compensation system is the only outlet for getting compensation from your employer. This means you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against them following your injury. You don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent in any way to claim workers’ comp benefits.
For the most part, it doesn’t matter how the injury occurred. The benefits should pay for all medical costs arising from the injury. If you have to miss work, you will receive wage loss benefits if you have to take more than seven days off. You can also claim benefits for temporary or permanent disability. In the unfortunate event that you die because of your injuries or illness, your dependents may be eligible for death benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney in Florida can help you to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
It is important to note that even though you can’t sue your employer, you can sue a third party if they caused you to be injured at work. For instance, if a patient’s relative assaulted you in the ER, you would have grounds for filing a personal injury claim. In many cases, you would be able to get more money than you would through Florida’s workers’ comp system. However, you would need to prove that the other individual acted negligently or willfully and caused you harm.
How Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyers Attorneys Help Healthcare Workers
It can be difficult to get the benefits you’re due. If you’re a healthcare worker who suffered an on-the-job injury or occupational disease, you need to contact an attorney. They can assist you with:
- Evaluating your situation
- Helping you file a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit
- Assisting you in resolving disputes surrounding your eligibility for benefits, the date of your return to work or the coverage of your medical expenses.
- Gathering and presenting evidence showing that you are entitled to benefits or damages
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf
- Representing you at a workers’ compensation hearing or in court
- Handling appeals if necessary
Contact Burnetti, P.A. to Discuss Your Workplace Injury
If you’ve been injured while on the job or you’ve developed an illness because of your job, you deserve to be compensated. Let our Florida workers comp attorneys help you to get maximum benefits. There’s no need to try to handle your claim on your own when there are legal experts available to help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.