California workers’ compensation attorney Joseph Kritzer has represented injured healthcare workers and other types of employees in workers’ compensation claims for more than 20 years. He knows that sometimes it can be difficult to identify the cause of certain injuries and whether or not they are related to your job.
Even if you are not sure that your injuries are related to your healthcare job, you should not let that stop you from researching your options about making a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes it only takes a medical evaluation to diagnose your injuries and establish your job as the cause of those injuries.
Types Of Healthcare Jobs And Common Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the healthcare industry has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries and illnesses. Employees in hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, in-home care, and other medical centers are at an increased risk for injuries compared to employees in other occupations.
Healthcare worker injuries are often the result of performing physical job functions in awkward and non-ergonomic positions. Healthcare workers spend a lot of their time at work engaged in activities and repetitive movements that frequently lead to injuries, such as bending and reaching, heavy manual lifting and moving, and computer use for charting and data entry.
Knowing The Cause Of Your Healthcare Work Injuries
Some types of injuries are clearly work-related, such as an illness caused by dangerous chemical exposure, or a puncture wound from a medical instrument. Slip and fall injuries are sometimes obviously work-related, but other times a delayed diagnosis of injuries can complicate matters.
What may initially feel like bruising and soreness from a fall might later turn out to be a herniated disc, concussion, or something else more serious than aches and bruises.
Your injuries must have occurred at work or be the result of work-related activities to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Strains, sprains, back injuries, and carpal tunnel are just a sample of injuries that healthcare workers suffer due to the nature of their job functions.
Sometimes these injuries develop over time, or there is a delayed onset, and you may not be able to point to a specific date, time, and place that your injury occurred. Injured healthcare workers often question whether or not their injuries are work-related, and if they are, how they would be able to prove it in a workers’ compensation claim.
Proving That Your Injuries Are Work-Related
If you have sustained injuries that you suspect could be work-related, it is important to report the injuries to your employer and seek medical treatment. A medical provider will go over your symptoms, evaluate your injuries, and discuss your job duties and how they could have caused or exacerbated your injuries.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the treatment, medical evaluation, and workers’ comp claims process. Claims like these can be more challenging to prove than other, more easily identifiable claims, and you are much more likely to succeed if you have an experienced attorney advocating for your financial recovery.