Workers’ Compensation for Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare professionals suffer from some of the highest rates of work-related injuries and illnesses in the United States. According to recent statistics from the Insurance Information Institute, nursing assistants had the highest percentage of work injuries and illnesses of all private industry occupations. Registered nurses, licensed practical/vocational nurses, and personal care aides also fell within the Top 10 occupations with the most job injuries.
Many Arizona healthcare workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses can file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. However, securing full and fair benefits is no easy task. A workers’ compensation attorney from Matt Fendon Law Group can evaluate your legal rights and help you recover the money you are entitled to.
Our law firm provides full-service legal representation to help medical workers stand up to penny-pinching employers and insurance providers. Our founding attorney, Matt Fendon, is board-certified in workers’ compensation law from the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization, reflecting his deep knowledge of the Arizona Workers’ Compensation Act and high-level understanding of the most complex workers’ compensation claims.
Contact Matt Fendon Law Group today for a free consultation.
Common Injuries and Illnesses for Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers spend their shifts helping sick people. When they get hurt, they are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help them heal. Common examples of injuries and illnesses suffered by medical employees include:
- Repetitive stress injuries, such as bursitis or carpal tunnel syndrome
- Soft tissue injuries and strains from lifting or turning patients
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries caused by falling equipment or pinning accidents
- Internal injuries or
- Traumatic brain injuries from slips, trips, and falls
- Infection from exposure to infectious diseases like COVID-19
- Blunt-force trauma from assaults by combative patients or family members
What Rights Do Nurses and Doctors Have When They’re Hurt on the Job in Arizona?
Nurses and doctors employed by healthcare facilities have several important rights under Arizona’s workers’ compensation system. These include:
- The right to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employers’ insurance company
- The right to file a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) within one year of the date of injury, or one year from the date the worker becomes aware of the work-related nature of their injury or illness
- The right to learn whether the insurer accepts or denies a claim within 21 days of receipt of the worker’s notice of injury or illness
- The right to protest an employer’s or insurer’s denial of benefits within 90 days of receiving the denial
- The right to coverage for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with an occupational injury or illness
- The right to temporary wage-replacement benefits after missing at least seven consecutive calendar days from work
- The right to disability benefits for a permanent impairment after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- The right to petition to reopen a closed claim and seek additional benefits after discovering new, additional, or previously undiscovered injuries or impairments
- The right to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to handle their case
Can I Choose My Doctor?
In Arizona, most injured healthcare workers can choose their doctors. One exception is if the employer is self-insured and authorized to direct medical care. In those cases, the employer can select a doctor of their choosing for the duration of a worker’s treatment. You can find out whether your employer directs care here.
However, if your employer is self-insured but does not direct care or is insured through a private company, you can choose your own doctor after the first visit. Keep in mind that if you voluntarily see the employer-selected physician more than once, you cannot change doctors without the approval of your current physician, the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier, or the ICA.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury in Arizona
Take these steps after a healthcare industry injury to protect your rights to Arizona workers’ compensation benefits:
- Report your injury or illness to your supervisor or employer immediately.
- Take photos of the scene of the work accident, assuming workplace or HIPAA rules allow you to photograph the area.
- Seek prompt medical care. Tell your doctor you are seeking treatment for a work-related injury or illness.
- Obtain a copy of the Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury from the doctor who initially treated you, or file a Worker’s Report of Injury form with the ICA.
- Contact the ICA to confirm the status of your claim if you don’t get a response within 14 days.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and any recommended medical restrictions.
- Keep copies of any bills, invoices, or receipts of all medical expenses incurred for medical treatment.
- Gather your pay stubs or bank statements if you miss more than seven consecutive days of work.
- Contact an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to learn how to maximize your benefits claim.
How a Healthcare Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can get confusing fast. Rather than get stuck in administrative red tape, seek legal representation from a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can assist healthcare professionals with securing full and fair benefits by:
- Thoroughly investigating the case
- Securing evidence to prove the injury is work-related
- Evaluating your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits
- Documenting your injury or illness
- Recording your medical expenses and lost income
- Ensuring the timely filing of your workers’ compensation claim
- Negotiating with your employer or their insurance provider to demand the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve
- Pursuing formal claim hearings with the ICA if your employer denies you benefits
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You could have the right to workers’ compensation benefits as a healthcare worker injured on the job. Let the attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group help you demand them. Our firm prides itself on being a rock for injured and disabled workers. If you’re struggling to obtain workers’ compensation in Arizona, contact us today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.