This last year has been especially difficult for those who work in healthcare. Doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, nursing home workers – many have had to step up and help take care of thousands of coronavirus patients. Many have come down with COVID-19 too and some haven’t survived. The increased stress and tough workload likely took a toll in other ways too.
Perhaps, a nurse suffered a serious back injury after trying to move a patient at the end of a long shift. She visits her doctor and learns she needs surgery and will be out of work for several weeks. Or a doctor slipped and fell on a wet hospital floor, one recently cleaned to lower infection risks. Maybe the doctor suffers a traumatic brain injury and can’t work for months. Believe it or not, working in healthcare has become one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States – even before the current health crisis. More than 2.8 million healthcare workers suffered workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017.
Workers’ compensation for healthcare workers
Any healthcare worker injured on the job, or who comes down with an illness related to their work, is eligible for workers’ compensation. In Ohio, workers’ compensation benefits will cover:
· Your medical bills to treat your illness or injury
· Your lost wages for when you can’t work because of your injury or illness
· Compensation if you suffer a permanent disability because of your injury or illness
· Compensation if your injury leads to lasting effects or permanent damage
For a doctor, a traumatic brain injury could have a lifelong impact on their career. They may not be able to see as many patients as they once did or they may have to retire. A nurse may be limited in the duties she can perform after a back or spine surgery or she may need to switch careers completely.
Getting the right level of workers’ comp
With the right workers’ compensation, an injured healthcare worker can get the money they need while they recover and can’t work. A healthcare worker can get the compensation they deserve if they suffer a permanent disability or have permanent damage. Yet in these situations, working closely with a workers’ compensation attorney is critical.
An attorney can help:
· Prove to your workers’ compensation provider that your injury occurred at work
· Prove if you had a pre-existing injury, it was aggravated by another injury that happened at work
· Prove you did suffer a permanent disability or lifelong limitation because of your workplace injury
With the right help, healthcare workers can move forward after suffering a workplace injury. They can get support if they need to focus on their recovery or if they need to a career transition to accommodate a lifelong disability.