With our vast experience representing injured workers, the lawyers at Stern & Cohen have represented hundreds of healthcare workers for work place accidents. This includes nurses (RN, LPN), certified nursing assistants (CNA), home health aides, doctors, therapists and companions. However, this also includes receptionists, custodial staff and hospital maintenance. The obvious reason for the large occurrence of these claims is that healthcare facilities and environments are hazardous. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the risks that workers in the healthcare industry take to care for our lives and medical situations. At Stern & Cohen, after representing so many women and men in this industry, we have recognized this realization for years.
The two most common injuries to healthcare workers are lifting injuries and slips and falls. Lifting injuries are so common since healthcare providers are frequently called upon to lift, turn, transport and move patients. Many times, a patient is physically incapable of walking, moving or turning. Healthcare workers must assist, many times by themselves, in lifting and helping move heavy body weight. This can cause a variety of injuries – most commonly lower back and neck, but also upper extremity injuries, such as hand, wrist and shoulder.
Slips and falls in a hospital or nursing/rehabilitation facility are also very common. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for liquids and fluids to end up on the floor in these environments. While providing patient care, it is very easy to not take notice of these hazards. This can result in falls and injuries. In some situations, a wet floor can be negligent and may give rise to other claims, as well.
With the baby boomer generation now reaching advanced age, there is an ever increasing need and use of home health care. Nurses and aides going to people’s homes is a very popular business. This is a dangerous area of work too. Traveling to, from and between homes makes one susceptible to the perils of the roads. We have represented many healthcare workers that were involved in auto accidents. Even if the accident occurs on the way from home to the first client or on the way from the last client to home, this is a work injury. Importantly, in addition to the workers’ compensation case, there may be a negligence claim against the other driver if the accident was not your fault. Further, people’s homes have their own hazards – a broken step, ice on the driveway, household items on the floor creating tripping hazards, etc. Home health work may cause injuries and we can help.
It should be noted that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you contract the COVID-19 virus at work. This is particularly relevant for healthcare workers, as you are more prone to exposure. Lost wages and medical expenses due to coronavirus are compensable. In the most tragic cases, dependents (spouses and minor children) have benefit rights if COVID-19 results in a death. We understand the complicated nature of this illness and the challenging nature of showing where it was contracted. Please understand that the law only requires a showing that one got coronavirus at work with a “reasonable degree of medical certainty.” We do not have to demonstrate with 100% certainty that the virus was obtained at work. This is extremely important as it can obviously be argued that someone may have been exposed outside of work.
If you work in the healthcare industry and were injured, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Stern & Cohen are on standby, ready to assist. Remember, the consultation is free.
If you were injured at work, get in touch with us right now. Don’t put it off, Contact us now about your case. We will let you know how much compensation that your claim is potentially worth.
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