Workers’ Compensation and Communicable Diseases
The recent Ebola and Zika virus epidemics brought to the forefront the unpredictable and dangerous situations healthcare workers live in as regards to their health. Communicable diseases can be passed on to nurses, doctors and anyone else in the healthcare arena due to an error that could have been avoided if people followed protocol or were not reckless in the line of duty. The question of whether workers compensation covers communicable diseases usually depends on a number of legal factors that are tied to employment that we’ll take a look at shortly.
OSHA Safety Guidelines for Healthcare Workers
When you are hired as a healthcare worker in any hospital, you sign employment papers that lay out exactly what your tasks are going to be as well as some of the risky things you will be exposed to on a daily basis. This documentation will serve as a guide to help you minimize your risk as well as outline your employee’s responsibilities in line with OSHA’s safety guidelines when it comes to creating a safe work environment for all.
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation for communicable diseases:
- You must have contracted the disease at your place of work and not outside. However, if you are a mobile healthcare professional and do house calls or ride the ambulance, these environments may be considered as your work environment.
- The illness should be directly correlated to the nature of your work as well as the duties you perform. This could be things like changing a person’s feeding tube, helping out with changing their soiled clothing, or feeding them.
Proving Negligence in Indiana Medical Malpractice Cases
If there was any kind of negligence, it is important that evidence be brought forward in order to have a valid case in front of a judge. For instance, you will need to show time slips that prove you were at work at the time that you contracted the disease, the patient’s records should show they had a contagious disease, and that your supervisor, knowing this, still asked you to attend to them, or in some cases, declined to give you the full scope of the patient’s illness.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help
These kinds of cases are very complicated due to the numerous variables involved. It’s for this reason that you will need a good medical malpractice attorney to help you navigate these difficult legal waters.
Need assistance? Please call us today on (773) 906-4159 for your free and confidential consultation. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.