In an industry dedicated to providing quality patient care, it is shocking to learn the statistics on violence against health care workers. In a March 2022 article, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported that 57% of public health departments had experienced an uptick in harassment, intimidation, threats, and physical attacks. Researchers attribute the increase to COVID-19 and pandemic-related stresses, but other figures indicate that the problem goes back further. Of all nonfatal violence-related injuries that occurred in US workplaces in 2018, health care workers accounted for 73%.
If you were injured at work because of violence or any other accident, Maryland workers’ compensation laws pay benefits to qualifying health care employees. To ensure you receive prompt payment for a rightful claim, it is wise to work with a skilled Baltimore County workers’ compensation attorney. You can also check out some information on the unique risks health care workers face.
Common Injuries for Health Care Workers
When faced with violence in the workplace, the bodily harm to those working in the health care environment are what you would expect of criminal attacks. Examples include:
- Bruises and abrasions;
- Broken bones and dislocations;
- Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds, especially when an attacker uses a knife or other deadly weapon;
- Gunshot wounds; and,
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury and concussion.
Employees at hospital emergency rooms are particularly at risk, since patients and family members may lash out when already under stress when needing emergency care. However, other sources of violence are co-workers and even a health care worker’s family – in a domestic violence situation that carries over to the workplace.
As far as workplace injuries not related to violence, health care workers also suffer harm from lifting and moving patients, needle sticks, slip and fall accidents, and many others.
Getting Workers Comp Benefits in Maryland
Researchers at Johns Hopkins stress that more needs to be done at a societal and enterprise-wide level to reduce the risk of violence to health care workers. Still, under Maryland’s no-fault system for workers’ comp, you do not need to prove that your employer failed in this regard. Instead, you must show that you are a covered employee who suffered injuries while on-the-job and performing work-related tasks. In a successful claim, you may be entitled to such benefits as:
- Medical treatment, including care that is reasonable and necessary to address your needs in the future;
- Wage replacement for days away from work, job restrictions, or transfers;
- Total or partial disability benefits, on a permanent or temporary basis; and,
- Death benefits, for surviving family members who lost a loved one.
Trust a Baltimore County, MD Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Assistance
It is helpful to know the basics about filing a workers’ comp claim. Retaining legal counsel means errors will not delay payment of your benefits. For more information about the process, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. You can schedule a no-cost consultation at our offices in Owings Mills or Glen Burnie, MD by calling 410.363.6848 or visiting us online.