Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job. Healthcare workers take the lead for the number of reported workplace injuries, with more than half a million reported cases in the United States each year. Lifting and lowering patients, along with slips and falls, lead to many of these injuries. Our attorneys at Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. understand how devastating these injuries can be to the workers and their families. Workers hurt on the job are often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages, medical expenses and potentially more. That’s why it’s important to understand:
- Common Healthcare Injuries
- When Healthcare Workers Have a Case
- Steps to Take to File a Workers’ Compensation case
Common Healthcare Injuries
There are many contributing factors leading to the high number of injuries in the healthcare industry. Many of them can be avoided with proper training and safety measures put in place to protect workers. Here are some of the most prevalent injuries:
- Back Injuries– Heavy lifting is a major culprit in healthcare injuries. Every year, more than 35,000 workers suffer serious back injuries from lifting and lowering patients.
- Slips, trips and falls
- Unruly Patients- For a variety of reasons, patients can become combative or otherwise unruly, despite the good intentions of the healthcare worker. Georgelis Injury Law Firm has seen everything from torn knee ligaments to shoulder dislocations occur as a result of situations like these. Injuries occurring in this fashion are typically compensable in Pennsylvania, but it is important for the injured worker to fulfill his or her responsibilities under the law.
- Illness from Needle Pricks– Healthcare workers are exposed to blood borne diseases daily and are highly prone to cuts and puncture wounds caused by needles.
Recovery time from these types of injuries can be long lasting. In fact, for every ten-thousand full-time healthcare workers in the U.S., the Department of Labor reports 447 days are missed due to injuries. Often times, healthcare workers return to work before a full recovery and with the effects of the injury lasting a lifetime.
When Healthcare Workers Have a Case
So, when do you have a case? To make this determination, there are a few things you should ask yourself.
- Were you injured while moving a patient?
- Were you injured when you slipped and fell at work?
- Were you injured in a workplace incident?
- Were you exposed to hazardous materials at work?
- Are you already receiving workers’ compensation, but in danger of losing benefits or receiving reduced payments?
- Are you being asked to return to work before you feel you are fully healed?
Steps to Take to File a Workers’ Compensation Case
Employers often direct their injured employees, medically, in the direction that gives the employer most control in managing the work injury. Often times, however, injured employees have many rights and options to take back this control. The key is consulting lawyers who concentrate their practice in protecting Pennsylvania’s work force.
Employers and insurers are continually trying to minimize the amount they pay out in workers’ compensation. This leads to many deserving injured workers being denied benefits or unable to get medical treatment they need.
That’s why it is critical, as a first step, to get a workers’ compensation attorney involved from the start. Our attorneys will make sure you don’t sign away your rights and help you determine which type of benefit suits your circumstance. Here’s how we’ll work with you in each situation.
- Medical benefits– Workers’ compensation covers all reasonable, necessary and related medical expenses. Employers may try to steer you to their “preferred” doctors, and their insurer may refuse to cover certain treatments. Our attorneys will uphold your medical rights.
- Wage loss benefits– Workers’ compensation pays a portion of your regular wages if your injury keeps you off the job for a long period of time. Without an attorney, your disability pay may be short-changed or your benefits may be improperly terminated permanently. We won’t allow that to happen.
- Specific loss benefits– Some injuries require additional compensation for injuries such as amputation, disfigurement, vision loss and hearing loss. We will fight to get you what you deserve.
- Lump-sum settlement- You can receive disability benefits over time or you may have the opportunity to resolve your claim for a lump-sum payout. Our attorneys will help you make the right choice for your family.
- Death and dependency claims– Spouses, minor children and some other dependent family members are entitled to death benefits for a fatal workplace accident or a later death related to complications of a work injury. We will help you through this difficult process and fight for your family.
Our attorneys at Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. have helped secure millions of dollars for accident victims. If you or someone you know is injured in a workplace accident, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
We’re available 24/7 and will come to you for a free consultation. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we’ll handle everything from there!