In Los Angeles, health care workers face untold risks each day. The risks relate to patients as well as working conditions. At any time, the workers could sustain injuries due to circumstances that are beyond their control. While hospitals have policies in place for unexpected events, sudden accidents or events could lead to serious injuries. These serious injuries could require a workers' compensation claim. A health care worker injuries lawyer may need to step in to assist workers who are injured and denied proper benefits.
How workers' compensation works in health care
Workers' compensation insurance works the same in health care as it does in every other industry. A worker who sustains an injury while performing their job is entitled to certain benefits. The benefits provide them with full payment for any medical necessities, as well as monetary benefits while they recover.
However, in some instances, the insurer can deny their claim. This could leave the health care worker without pay and a pile of medical bills they are unable to pay. Under these circumstances, the worker must receive legal representation to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled.
Health care worker health risks
Repetitive stress sustained by health care workers on their musculoskeletal system can lead to a multitude of injuries. Their repetitive motions and the overexertion of their body causes conditions such as severe muscle strain. They are more likely to develop sprains as well. Under constantly changing conditions, it is probable for the workers to sustain injuries without awareness.
Injuries related to lifting or moving patients
Medical staff must frequently lift patients for examinations, X-rays and treatment. The lifting and repositioning of patients could lead to the development of hernias. If these conditions are not managed, the worker could develop a more severe condition. Abdominal hernias could lead to the strangulation of organs, which can lead to sepsis or death. The conditions could also cause the abdominal organs to break through the navel.
Medical needle-related injuries
Protocol is in place for incidents related to medical needle-related injuries. Upon the discovery of a puncture, the direct supervisor of the worker must follow protocol to the leader. These events could lead to the contraction of diseases such as HIV and AIDS. The supervisor must perform testing to determine if the worker contracted a disease due to exposure to the patient's blood and other bodily fluids. Upon the discovery of a disease, the hospital must take immediate action to treat the worker for the disease and compensate them through workers' compensation benefits.
Violence against health care workers
Violence against a health care worker can occur without warning. Circumstances in which violence is probable are defined by the type of medical facility in which they work. Patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia are more likely to become combative due to disorientation and sudden agitation. Unawareness of where they are or who is treating them can lead to sudden violence as the patient tries to flee the scene.
Working in trauma and emergency rooms also places health care workers at a higher risk of a violence-related injury. Patients with head injuries or epilepsy could experience a seizure at any time. It is possible for the patient to enter into a fugue state following a seizure. In this state, the patient could unknowingly attack the health care worker. It is this probability for which health care facilities must follow measures to reduce the potential for worker-related injuries due to sudden violent behaviors.
The CDC and infectious diseases
According to the Center for Disease Control, hospital administrators must follow protocol to limit the exposure to infectious diseases. This protocol leads to quarantines for patients with the condition. It is necessary for the hospital administrators to prevent exposure for their workers upon the discovery of these diseases in the hospital. Any failure to prevent exposure could deem the hospital and administrators liable for any injuries sustained by their workers. It also entitles injured workers to workers' compensation benefits.
What can health care workers do after denial of options?
Health care workers are encouraged to seek legal counsel when they are denied workers' compensation benefits. The worker must obtain all records for their injuries for their legal claim. This includes records of the incident that produced their injuries. They must provide witnesses that can cooperate with their claim and any failures by the hospital or medical facility.
In Los Angeles, health care workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits based on federal laws. The federal laws require hospitals and medical facilities to obtain workers' compensation insurance for their workers. The terms of the policy define whether or not the injuries sustained qualify for benefits. Injured workers who need assistance with a workers' compensation claim should contact a health care worker injuries lawyer today.