Hospitals are among the busiest – and potentially the most dangerous – places to work in any industry. Patients can arrive and depart at all hours of the day, a steep degree of technical knowledge is required at all levels of employment, and shifts can be gruelingly long. With so much happening in the average medical workplace, hospital employee injuries can and do occur. Hospital staff then need to file for workers’ compensation for benefits like medical care and eventual wage replacement.
The four most common reasons why hospital staff file for workers’ comp include:
- Occupational illness: The contagious illnesses among patients are the greatest threat to a medical professional’s health and safety. The coronavirus pandemic has underlined the risks of occupational illnesses among nurses, doctors, and other medical experts. The number of COVID-related workers’ comp filings from medical professionals has increased dramatically during the pandemic. If it can reasonably be presumed that a medical professional’s illness was contracted via interaction with a patient, then workers’ compensation coverage should apply.
- Back pain: In the average workday, some nurses lift and move patients and equipment frequently, causing back pain by the end of their shift. When work-related back pain becomes enough to interfere with work, it might be time to file for workers’ compensation. Other medical professionals can also suffer musculoskeletal soreness or injuries just from spending many hours a day on their feet as they treat patients, travel between wards, review lab results, and so forth.
- Lacerations: There are not many workplaces that require the delicate manipulation of sharp instruments, but this is commonly the case in hospitals, clinics, and other medical settings. Scalpels, hypodermics, and other medical instruments have sharp edges and points that can cause serious injuries in an accident, especially if workers are feeling rushed due to tight work schedules. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, though, so an injury caused by a medical professional’s own mistakes does not invalidate a future claim they file.
- Mental health concerns: In recent years, more and more workers’ compensation programs have made changes to allow claimants to file for mental health-related concerns caused by the stress of their work. Medical professionals working in emergency departments, for example, can become traumatized after witnessing a patient’s severe injury or untimely death. When traumatization, anxiety, or depression become noticeable enough to make work unsafe, workers’ comp benefits can be provided to the affected worker, such as coverage for the cost of therapy.
Need to File a Hospital Worker Claim?
As a busy medical professional, you probably do not feel like you have much time in the average day to also deal with a workers’ compensation claim filed against a stubborn insurance company. To make the process less stressful, it is a good choice to hire a workers’ compensation attorney from the beginning. Metzger Wickersham offers comprehensive legal counsel and representation for all interactions with insurance companies, including litigation, for injured hospital workers throughout Pennsylvania. Call (888) 286-2850 and schedule a FREE consultation with our firm today.