People who work in hospitals have an increased risk of being injured in the workplace.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 294,000 hospital workers suffered injuries or illnesses while they were working in 2014 (source). If you have been injured in the hospital where you work, you may wonder whether or not you should contact a hospital injury lawyer. You will likely be required to file a claim through your employer’s workers’ compensation program rather than filing a lawsuit against the hospital. If a third party contributed to your injury accident, however, you may be able to file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier as well as an injury claim against the third party.
What Is Involved in a Hospital Injury Claim?
Hospital employees who are injured while working are normally required to file a claim through their hospital’s workers’ compensation insurance. Like other types of employers, hospitals are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage in order to protect their employees. Workers who contract illnesses or who are injured while working in hospitals are able to make claims against this coverage, and in exchange for that ability, they give up their rights to file personal injury lawsuits against the hospitals in which they work. An injured worker whose claim is denied or disputed will have to go through the administrative process, which will involve a hearing before an administrative law judge or hearing officer. If the claim is denied at the hearing, the injured worker may appeal the decision within the administrative process. An injured worker will not be allowed to file a hospital injury lawsuit against the hospital until he or she has exhausted all of the available administrative processes and remedies.
Common Types of Hospital Employee Injuries
Many types of injuries can afflict hospital employees. Workers may be injured when they lift or transfer patients. Some contract diseases in hospitals because of the presence of bacteria and viruses or because of accidental needle pricks. Slips, trips, and falls are also common in hospitals. Hospital workers face unique risks of violence from assaultive or combative patients and families. They may also be injured from exposure to toxic substances such as cleaning chemicals. Finally, some hospital workers are at risk of suffering sprains, strains, muscle tears, fractures, diseases, and other injuries.
Third-Party Liability for Hospital Injuries
In some cases, hospital employees have the legal grounds to file claims against third parties who bear partial liability for their injury accidents. For example, if a patient assaults a worker, the worker may file a workers’ compensation claim with the hospital and a personal injury civil lawsuit against the patient. Similarly, if a worker is injured by a defective piece of equipment, he or she may file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product as well as against others who were responsible for bringing it to the market.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness while working in a hospital, consult with the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today. With our experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, we can help you learn about your rights to recovery. With the help of a hospital injury lawyer, you can hold the responsible party liable and recover full and fair damages for your loss.