Oklahoma healthcare workers have been rightly hailed as frontline heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, although most of us would view their regular duties in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities as challenging enough.
Healthcare jobs are typically demanding both mentally and physically, posing safety hazards that can result in workplace injuries. In addition, most hospitals and nursing homes are understaffed, resulting in longer shifts, more stress, and more duties performed without assistance. In fact, most injuries sustained by registered nurses are back injuries from moving or lifting patients. The second most common injuries for nurses are falls, slips, and trips.
For nurses and other healthcare workers, there are three primary ways to receive compensation for work injuries:
Under the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Code, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees, making the majority of healthcare workers eligible for benefits. Proving an employer’s fault or even negligence in the incident is not an issue since Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws are based solely on strict liability.
Employees are generally compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and other types of losses that are incurred after being hurt at work. Workers’ compensation also provides injured healthcare workers with temporary and permanent disability benefits based on the severity and duration of the injury or illness.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Some healthcare workers may be entitled to disability benefits through a federal benefits program known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These benefits are long-term -- for those who are unable to return to work for at least a year -- and employees must meet certain requirements to qualify.
Personal Injury Claim
Oklahoma workers who are eligible for workers’ compensation are prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. However, injuries that occur because of another party’s negligence (other than your employer) may qualify you to file a personal injury claim against that negligent party. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you are eligible to pursue a personal injury claim.
If you have been injured at work, it’s in your best interest to contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our attorneys fight to ensure you are fairly compensated for your work-related injuries. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.