Healthcare workers have an incredibly important job. In fact, the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing job markets. Unfortunately, the people whom we look to for help when it comes to caring for our wellbeing are also at a high risk for suffering a vast range of injuries on the job. The healthcare industry is physically demanding and often takes a toll on workers as a result. If you are a healthcare worker and sustained or developed an occupational illness or injury, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Make sure you get in touch with an attorney today to help you with your case.
Injuries in the Healthcare Field
The healthcare industry encompasses a vast range of jobs and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these workers are exposed to numerous hazards on a daily basis, leading to more non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses than in any other industry.
Below are some of the most common causes of occupational injuries healthcare workers suffer:
- Overexertion and repetitive stress: Healthcare workers are at a substantially higher risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders than other workers. These include tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, radial tunnel syndrome, and more.
- Patient handling activities: Manually lifting patients and transferring them to different positions or having to reposition them can put a lot of strain on a healthcare worker, especially when they have to do it for multiple patients a day.
- Needle sticks: Handling needles and other sharp medical objects can result in puncture wounds or cuts.
- Violence: Given all the variables present in any healthcare facility, healthcare workers are at a high risk of being violently assaulted on the job. Additionally, given the presence of drugs, hospitals and clinics are often targets of robbery, which can result in violence and injuries.
- Understaffing: It is not uncommon for hospitals and nursing homes to be understaffed due to budget constraints or a lack of qualified workers. This can increase the pressure on available staff to work faster, which inevitably increases the chances of sustaining an injury.
Some of the most common injuries healthcare workers suffer as a result of these causes include:
- Sprains and strains: Sprains and strains that affect the shoulders and lower back are the most commonly reported injury among healthcare workers, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Slipped discs: When lifting and transferring patients, a healthcare worker can damage the discs, which is the fleshy tissue that cushions the spinal bones.
- Blood-borne infectious diseases: Injuries involving needle sticks increases the risk of spreading blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B and C. This is a constant risk health care workers face and among some of the most common injuries they suffer.
- Infections: Airborne pathogens or exposure to bodily waste or mucus can lead to infections, which have the potential to be quite severe.
Other common injuries include fractures, broken bones, and head injuries, which are often the result of slip and falls or violence.
If you are a healthcare worker and suffered a workplace injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation. In cases where your injury was the result of a third party, you could also file a lawsuit against the person who caused your injury. For example, if you were assaulted by a family member of a patient whom you were trying to treat, that person could be held legally liable for your injuries. Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim can also include compensation for pain and suffering.
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, first seek legal advice to ensure you are on the right path and are able to receive everything you are entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento
At Smolich & Smolich, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Sacramento are committed to providing exceptional legal representation to injured workers. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and know how frustrating it can be when the insurance company or your employer attempts to push back to prevent you from obtaining the benefits you deserve. Do not go through this on your own. Turn to a law firm with the experience, knowledge, and insight to ensure you are able to secure these vital benefits.
Get started on your case today and contact us at (888) 452-0703 to request your free initial case evaluation. If we cannot win your case, you will not owe us any legal fees.