When it comes to seeking worker’s compensation and the worker’s compensation lawyers to represent them, most workers tend to think that these are only for the realm of construction workers or factory workers that work hard at jobs that can be strenuous or occasionally dangerous. However, for some reason, nurses don’t count themselves among that number who believe they can be entitled to worker’s comp. Yet, job injuries in the nursing field can be staggeringly high, and not the injuries one would expect.
Every year, thousands of nurses force themselves to endure back and other injuries resulting from lifting patients each and every day. Often these injuries are severe enough to miss work and these nurses are forced to lose pay because they think they aren’t afforded the same worker’s compensation rights as others.
Most Common Injuries Among Nurses
Although many don’t realize it, nursing is one of the most accident-prone occupations around. Like a construction worker whose back is at risk every day hauling lumber or beams around, a nurse’s back is at risk from hauling people. Each and every day there are people that need to be lifted, turned, and moved physically by a nurse. Orderlies, nursing assistants, personal care aids, and registered nurses are all at risk for injuries that should result in worker’s compensation.
Common injuries include torn rotator cuffs, spinal cord sprains and strains, joint injuries, and herniated discs. None of these injuries can be solved simply by soaking in a hot bath at the end of the day. Many require rest, time, and even surgery to solve, which can leave those in the nursing field out of a pay check for too long.
Why Nurses Go Without Reporting Injuries?
If nursing is one of the most common occupations for injuries that would so clearly qualify them for worker’s compensation, why do their injuries go so under reported? Unfortunately, there is a strange culture about reporting injuries in all occupational fields for fear of being fired over them. After all, wouldn’t it be easier and more cost effective to get rid of an injured worker than to pay for their treatment through worker’s comp insurance?
This fear is logical, but completely unfounded. In Minnesota, as in many other states, an employer is not only required to have worker’s compensation insurance, but they are not allowed to fire you because of an injury. Often hospitals capitalize on this fear and neglect to clear the air about it because it saves them in the long run. Some hospitals find it cheaper to have their worker’s compensation insurance pay for the claims that do come in rather than try to prevent them by installing expensive lift equipment that can help prevent the injuries in the first place.
There is also the strange stigma that just because someone works in the medical field, they should be able to treat their own injury in their spare time. This is utterly ridiculous. Injuries like torn rotator cuffs and herniated discs aren’t injuries that you can treat on your own nor are they injuries that can heal properly with just time alone.
If you are in the nursing field, and find yourself injured, be it after one incident or repetitive motion over time, seeking medical care and the worker’s compensation to cover it is your right. Choosing the right worker’s compensation lawyer to represent you can mean the difference between getting a meager settlement and one that can cover all your lost wages and medical bills. If you are in the St. Paul area, the Law Office of Joshua Borken can help. As a dedicated work injury lawyer, we work tirelessly to help not only nurses, but all injured workers get the most out of their worker’s compensation claim.