Nurses Injured at Work
Hospitals are one of the most dangerous places to work. Hospital workers, including nurses and nursing assistants, develop illnesses and suffer injuries at nearly twice the rate as workers in the private industry, according to OSHA.
North Carolina offers top-notch medical care for thousands of patients at facilities like Duke University Hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, UNC Hospitals, Carolinas Medical Center, Vidant, Moses H. Cone, Mission, UNC Rex, and Novant. Nurses also work in high-risk settings outside the hospital, including nursing homes, home care, private practice, palliative care, and specialized services. Regardless of where the caregivers work, like their patients, they deserve to be treated fairly when they find themselves injured or sick.
Here’s what Ricci Law Firm wants you to know if you work in the health profession:
Healthcare jobs are dangerous
Sure, nurses may not climb chimneys or operate chainsaws, but they do face plenty of hazards in their hectic workplace:
- Sharp objects
- Lifting and moving patients
- Sudden movement and unexpected events
- Slick floors due to fluid spills
- Operating dangerous equipment
- Exposure to disease and contaminants
- Exposure to trauma
- Violent and unpredictable patients
The hospital environment is fast-paced, stressful, and demanding on workers. All these factors combine to create workplace injury risks for nurses and nursing assistants.
Healthcare workers deserve care, too
The unique environment of a healthcare facility often means that sick or injured nurses do not prioritize their own health. While many injured healthcare workers do report injuries in a timely manner and seek treatment as needed, some of them instead delay seeking medical treatment or reporting accidents in hopes that their conditions will improve. The thriving workers’ compensation system in North Carolina is meant to help rehabilitate and heal injured workers, so that they can get back to work. The attorneys at Ricci Law Firm regularly help nurses and nursing assistants who have been injured or contracted a disease at work. Skillful legal handling of a workers’ compensation claim can lead to a quicker physical and monetary recovery, allowing sick or injured healthcare workers to get back to helping their patients.
Workers’ compensation for healthcare workers
Another reason some injured nurses fail to file a workers’ compensation claim is because, unlike many other types of workers, they already have private health insurance. “Why should I bother filing a workers’ compensation claim when I could just use my own health insurance?” they ask. Why? Because a worker who incorrectly files or inadequately pursues a workers’ compensation claim may accidentally waive his or her legal rights to do so later. If a sick or injured worker permanently loses the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for a medical condition, that worker may not be able to collect disability benefits in the future, even if the condition worsens and causes the inability to work.
Ricci Law Firm attorneys regularly help injured healthcare workers properly document and pursue their workers’ compensation claims to protect their legal rights now and in the future. If you or someone you know is a nurse, certified nursing assistant, or other healthcare provider who was injured or developed a disease on the job, please contact Ricci Law Firm.