What Massachusetts Healthcare Workers Should Know About Workers’ Compensation

Healthcare Workers in Massachusetts Can Often Use Workers' Compensation After Being InjuredApproximately 10 percent of all workers in Massachusetts work in the healthcare industry. This includes:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Home health aides
  • Mental health providers
  • Hospital workers including orderlies and aides
  • Physical therapists and other rehabilitation therapy providers
  • Everyone else who works in the healthcare field

We depend on all of you to keep us healthy, but what happens when you are the one who is hurt or sick?

Workers’ Compensation for Injured Healthcare Workers

If you are a healthcare worker who has been hurt on the job, then it is important to notify your employer as soon as possible. If your injury is work related then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits may include compensation for all of your medical needs and for a portion of your lost income. Your lost income benefits will depend on your unique injury. Specifically:

  • You may receive benefits up to 60 percent of your gross weekly wage if you suffer a temporary total incapacitating injury. In order to be eligible for this benefit you must be unable to work for six or more days. The highest amount that you can receive is equal to the state’s average weekly wage. Benefits may continue for up to 156 weeks.
  • You may receive benefits up to 75 percent of what you would be eligible for if you suffered a temporary total incapacitating injury if your injury was temporary and partially incapacitating. If you are able to work, but you can’t earn the same amount that you did prior to your injury, then you may be eligible for this type of benefit for up to 260 weeks.
  • You may receive benefits up to 66 percent of your gross average weekly wage if you suffer a permanent total incapacitating injury. In order to receive this benefit, you must be permanently and completely unable to work. The highest amount that you can receive is equal to the state’s average weekly wage and benefits should continue for as long as you are disabled.

Additionally, you may be able to recover vocational benefits if you are able to return to work but not able to return to the type of job you did prior to getting hurt.

How Healthcare Workers Get Hurt on the Job

Like workers in other industries, a healthcare worker can be hurt in a wide variety of ways. Some of the common ways that healthcare workers are hurt include:

  • Repetitive strain on back or other muscles. You may be standing, stretching, lifting, and making other movements day in and day out for years. Over time, it can result in a painful injury.
  • Lifting or moving patients. Your job may require you to lift or move patients from beds and wheelchairs. This can result in an immediate injury or it can result in an injury over time.
  • Falls. Wet floors, medical equipment, and clutter make falls a significant risk at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other medical treatment facilities.
  • Contact with medications, blood, or other dangerous substances. As a healthcare worker you may come into contact with a patient’s blood, bodily fluids, or medication. This can result in an infection, illness, or adverse reaction in some cases.
  • Assaults by patients, relatives, or others. Assault is a real risk for healthcare workers, particularly if a patient or loved one of a patient suffers from dementia, mental illness, or a medication side effect.

These incidents can result in injuries such as broken bones, strains, sprains, infections, and other serious conditions that prevent injured healthcare workers from going to work and doing their jobs.

Of course, these are only examples. Anytime a healthcare worker is hurt in a work-related incident, the worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer If You’ve Been Hurt

You deserve to receive fair workers’ compensation benefits if you have been hurt in the course of your employment. However, as a healthcare worker, you may well know that insurance companies do not always provide fair benefits unless they are forced to do so. Our workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to getting injured Massachusetts healthcare workers the workers’ comp benefits that they have earned. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your rights.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer