Helping Injured Healthcare Workers Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits In New York
Hospital and health care workers make up the largest concentration of workers by industry in New York. Employers like the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Catholic Hospitals, independent community hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities and home health care agencies to employ more than 100,000 people in the New York area, including many in Long Island. Unfortunately, many workers suffer injuries at a job site. If you are a health care worker and were hurt on the job, a work related injury attorney can help you recover your rightful workers’ comp benefits.
Healthcare jobs can often be some of the most physically demanding and for this reason accidents and injuries are common. Nurses, nurses’ aides, and other caregivers have one of the highest rates of job-related injuries, including back injuries that are potentially career-ending. Employers and insurance companies know this, but it does not stop them from disputing claims unfairly or trying to minimize their employees’ injuries. Injured health care workers often face pressure from administrators to “soldier on” or return to work.
The hospitals and insurance companies have their lawyers, and you should likewise have strong legal counsel. Asserting your workers’ compensation rights is an adversarial process. Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P., is one of New York’s most respected workers’ compensation firms. We regularly represent healthcare employees throughout New York and Long Island at our offices in Ronkonkoma, Garden City, and Shirley. Let us help you obtain the benefits you deserve after being injured at work.
Healthcare Workers Are at a High Risk of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
Healthcare workers face one of the highest rates of workplace illness and injury of any profession. According to 2019 data, healthcare workers in the public sector in New York face a nonfatal accident and injury rate of 3.1 per 100 workers, which is higher than the 2.8 rate across all industries in the state. However, the numbers become more serious in some types of healthcare settings:
- Ambulatory health care services: 1.4
- Hospitals: 5.0
- Nursing and residential care facilities: 5.2
- Social assistance: 2.2
For healthcare workers in the public sector, the rate is substantially higher, at 15.9. Broken down by healthcare setting, the rates are as follows:
- Hospitals: 19.6
- Nursing and residential care facilities: 13.4
Thus, for many healthcare workers in New York, the risk of workplace injury and illness is actually higher than in the construction and law enforcement fields.
Workers’ Compensation for Nurses and Other Healthcare Workers
Our workers’ compensation lawyers have represented nurses (union and nonunion), nurses’ aides, lab technicians, orderlies, hospice workers, nursing home aides, in-home care workers, dental hygienists, maintenance workers, elevator workers, electricians, plumbers and others in the medical industry. Our clients include many union members from Local 1199, SEIU and the New York State Nurses’ Association. Our experienced work related injury attorneys are familiar with the job duties and workplace dangers in hospitals and healthcare jobs, including:
- Musculoskeletal injuries: Many jobs in the healthcare industry are physically demanding, requiring repetitive motions, lifting and carrying heavy objects (such as patients), and hours of standing. Such activity can result in strains, sprains, and muscle tears.
- Slips, trips, and falls: Healthcare workers frequently on the move, and often must do so at high speeds. These conditions are ripe for slips and falls, which can result in broken and fractured bones.
- Hospital-acquired infections: Healthcare workers frequently are exposed to contagious illnesses, putting them in danger of contracting them. Some of the most common are staph infections (MRSA), influenza, SARS/MERS, and tuberculosis.
- Needle poke exposure: Healthcare workers who handle needles face an increased risk of accidental needle pokes, which can expose them to blood-borne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis B and C.
- Assault and battery: Hospitals often treat mentally unstable individuals who may have violent outbursts that can injure their caregivers
- Fires and explosions: While rare, healthcare workers can be injured by fires and explosions caused by oxygen tanks
- Allergic reactions: Many healthcare workers are allergic to the substances they use in the course of their work, including latex gloves, drugs, and disinfectants
- Transportation accidents: Healthcare workers who are involved in patient transport — particularly EMTs and first responders — face an increased risk of injury from transportation accidents. These workers also often put themselves in harm’s way, which increases their risk of injury.
Back injuries, shoulder injuries, and knee injuries are common in nursing and related jobs and one of the leading causes of disability leaves. Our job is to ensure that those who care for others get the medical care they themselves need to recover their health and protect their careers.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available for New York Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers are eligible to receive the full range of workers’ compensation benefits. These include:
- Medical benefits: The workers’ compensation program pays the full cost of any necessary medical treatment so long as it is obtained from an authorized provider.
- Cash benefits: Workers who are totally or partially disabled and unable to work for at least seven days are entitled to receive cash benefits in an amount equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage multiplied by the percentage of their disability.
- Death benefits: Should the injured worker die, his or her surviving spouse, children, or other dependents are entitled to death benefits in an amount equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage for the year prior to the accident.
Contact an Experienced Work Related Injury Attorney to File a Healthcare Workers’ Compensation Claim in NYC or Long Island
We understand the issues in healthcare worker injury claims, including the special considerations for union members. We urge you to contact us even before you file a workers’ compensation claim, but we can also step in if your claim is denied or in progress and your employer tries to reduce or terminate your benefits. Our attorneys are skilled advocates in hearings and appeals at all levels, and we represent injured workers in negotiating lump-sum settlements.
For a free consultation with an experienced work related injury attorney, call us toll-free at 800-671-4927 or contact us online. Turley Redmond & Rosasco has three convenient offices across Long Island.