Why Nurses Should File for Workers’ Compensation When They Get Injured

Many workers may be hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim after an injury on the job, incorrectly assuming only certain high-risk industries or serious and disfiguring injuries qualify.

The truth is that any injury or illness received while performing work duties that prevents an employee from working qualifies for workers’ compensation. Healthcare workers are one of the groups of workers most likely to suffer a qualifying injury, which may include:

  • Infections from patients
  • Exposure to hazardous materials, including chemicals and radiation
  • Muscle sprains and strains from moving, lifting, and transporting patients
  • Attacks by patients or family members of patients

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hospitals record more work-related injuries and illnesses that cause employees to miss work each year than either construction or manufacturing.

The organization further found that 24% of nurses change shifts or take sick leave to recover from an unreported injury, and 8 out of 10 nurses say they frequently work with musculoskeletal pain.

Nurses are so often focused only on patient care, they can ignore, or be encouraged by employers to ignore, their own injuries. However, as a healthcare worker, you should file a workers’ compensation claim for the sake of your own health, as well as the betterment of your hospital and patients.

Top Four Reasons for Nurses to File Workers’ Compensation Claims

  1. The average cost per nurse injury claim in 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available) was $15,860. Without filing a claim, nurses may be covering those expenses out of pocket.
  2. Nurses who are fatigued or stressed due to injuries and illnesses have a higher risk of causing medication errors and patient infections (potentially leading to malpractice lawsuits).
  3. When nurses struggle or are unable to move patients due to stress injuries, they put the patients at further risk of injury or of developing bed sores.
  4. Patient satisfaction rates are higher in hospitals where staff are not dissatisfied with their health benefits, burnt out from overwork, or working through injuries.

How Joye Law Firm Helps Injured Nurses

It’s unfortunate that nearly half of all workers’ compensation claims are initially denied, and the healthcare industry in particular is known for ignoring employee injuries and pushing back against workers’ compensation claims.

However, don’t let fear of a rejection discourage you from making a workers’ compensation claim after an injury on the job. State law forbids employers from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Furthermore, when you work with the experienced healthcare workers’ compensation attorneys at Joye Law Firm, we can help increase your claim’s chances of success, or help you receive a successful appeal against a denied claim.

Nurses deserve the same care and consideration towards their injuries as they provide their own patients. Contact us today about your case, and let us get to work for you.

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