COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Work Injury Lawyer
The coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19, began in January. Since then, national and state governments have implemented restrictions to slow down the spread of the disease. Healthcare workers have selflessly put themselves on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. If not for them, the coronavirus would have claimed many more lives throughout Kentucky and the world. Unfortunately, healthcare workers across the United States are contracting the coronavirus or COVID-19 at an alarming rate. Healthcare workers are at serious risk treating patients with COVID-19 and many have questions about injuries incurred at work.
Essential Worker Statistics
COVID-19 in the healthcare sector has raised the risks associated with caring for patients. One of the most crucial aspects of working in a healthcare environment is having enough personal protection equipment (PPE). However, since the outbreak, there has been a shortage of PPE equipment across the country.
According to numbers provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), from early April, at least 9,282 nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers in the United States have been infected with COVID-19. Data from the CDC indicates that of the 9,282 infected with the coronavirus, 723 were hospitalized. That number includes 184 patients in the ICU and 27 deaths.
COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and death statistics change daily. As of April 10, 2020, at least 129 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky, with the number expected to increase as the pandemic persists.
Other healthcare worker statistics:
- Healthcare workplace injuries, such as violence, has increased in Kentucky healthcare workplaces by 72 percent
- 80 percent of healthcare workers in the United States sector are women
- Twenty-six percent of all nurses surveyed indicated they had not been told to report violence
- Some healthcare employers discouraged medical professionals from reporting
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states severe incidents of workplace violence are four times more common in healthcare than private industry
- The federal administration standards and guidelines to prevent workplace violence are not legally binding
- There are no federal rules mandating employers have violence prevention programs to protect healthcare workers
- Kentucky does not have any laws relating to workplace violence
- Kentucky healthcare employers have to protect their workers
- According to Kentucky’s ranking of industries with the highest injury and illness total case incidence rate (with figures from 2016), there were 623 state government nursing and residential care facility incidents
- According to Kentucky’s ranking of industries with the highest injury and illness total case incidence rate (with figures from 2016), there were 623 private nursing and residential care facility incidents
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation
Kentucky’s healthcare workers face risks each time they go to work. Because healthcare workers spend a lot of time around patients infected with COVID-19, they are at an increased risk of also contracting the disease.
Kentucky healthcare workers who contracted the COVID-19 may be eligible for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of their illness, a healthcare worker may pursue either a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury case. Each of these claims provides compensation to injured healthcare workers; however, they are very different.
Generally, workers’ compensation claims provide a way to recover compensation after a workplace accident. This includes an employee contracting COVID-19. Damages in a workers’ compensation claim are generally limited to medical expenses and lost wages. Workers’ compensation claimants typically cannot obtain non-economic damages such as compensation for pain and suffering.
A personal injury case may be an option for some healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19. Personal injury claims are based on negligence, so to establish liability, an infected employee must show that they contracted the virus as the result of another’s negligence. However, these types of personal injury claims can be difficult to claim. First, an employee’s only remedy against their employer is typically a workers’ compensation claim.
In both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases, a healthcare employee must be able to show that they contracted the virus through their work. To learn more about your options, if you have fallen ill while at work, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Hessig & Pohl.
Kentucky Work Injury Lawyers Ready to Help
If you were injured or become ill as a result of your job duties in the healthcare sector, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation for your medical costs and to recover lost wages while you are off recovering.
Hessig & Pohl’s healthcare worker injury lawyers offer the Fee Free Guarantee. Unless you win or settle your case, you do not pay a cent for legal services. Hessig & Pohl works to get you the maximum compensation that is rightfully yours. Call today, 502-777-1111.
Marty fought for me when the insurance company denied my claim. We sued and got the insurance limits.