Hospitals can be extremely dangerous working environments, exposing CNAs and other nurses to bloodborne diseases, infections like MRSA, and other occupational hazards. However, infections and illnesses aren’t the only dangers present in healthcare settings. Nurses can also be punched, shot, stabbed, or violently assaulted by patients and hospital visitors, leading to serious injury. If you were a victim of workplace violence at your nursing job in Charlotte, you may be entitled to compensation under workers’ compensation laws that provide benefits for job-related accidents.
Workers’ compensation, which is typically paid on a weekly basis, can provide a financial security net while you are out of work, recovering from your injuries, and receiving medical treatment. However, getting benefits can be a legal challenge, even when you are qualified. Your employer or their insurance company may deny your claim unfairly, attempt to prematurely terminate your benefits, or make errors that cause your benefits to be delayed. With more than 20 years of experience representing injured workers in North Carolina, the Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm can guide you through every stage of the claim filing process, and are ready to provide aggressive appeals representation if benefits are denied, reduced, or suspended improperly.
Don’t wait to get help if you are suffering from an assault-related nursing injury. For a free legal consultation about workers’ compensation benefits for injured nurses in the Charlotte area, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (704) 376-1616 today.
Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for Workplace Violence and Assault?
Statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation show that nearly 85,000 nurses are currently active in the state of North Carolina. Many are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), who work under the supervision of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs).
No matter what level of skill or experience a nurse has attained, he or she deserves to work in a safe environment that is free from violence and abuse. Unfortunately, nursing is one of the most dangerous industries in the nation, and it is sadly common for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and other nursing professionals to be assaulted by patients or patients’ family members. The attacker may be angry about the perceived care of a loved one. The attacker may be in a state of confusion induced by a medication or medical condition, such as dementia. In other cases of hospital assault, the attack may seem to occur randomly and spontaneously, for no discernible reason.
Whatever the reason behind the assault, the victim could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which replace partial wages while providing coverage for reasonable medical care. Most nursing professionals in Charlotte are protected by workers’ compensation laws. Provided they employ at least three individuals, the following types of employers are generally required to provide workers’ compensation coverage under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act:
- Colleges and universities
- Doctor offices
- Elementary, middle, and high schools
- Hospitals and psychiatric hospitals
- Nursing homes and skilled long-term care facilities (LTCFs)
- Rehabilitation centers
If you are injured in the course of performing your job duties, whether on or off the physical work site, you may have grounds to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits will be denied if the injury was self-inflicted, was caused by your own intoxication, or was not work-related. Benefits can also be denied if the injury is not promptly reported, which is why it is crucial to act as quickly as possible if you have been assaulted at your nursing job.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Coverage is available for a wide range of injuries commonly caused by assault and workplace violence. You may receive compensation for medical exams, medication, surgery, and other reasonable treatment for injuries such as:
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Broken or damaged teeth
- Bone fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Disfiguring injuries
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Head and face injuries
- Hearing loss
- Joint injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Puncture and stab wounds
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Workers’ compensation pays approximately two thirds of your wages prior to the injury, in addition to compensation for various medical expenses, as well as compensation for injuries that cause total or partial loss of a body part, or use of that body part. If your condition improves in the future, your benefits may be reduced or terminated. However, your employer must ask court permission before making changes to your benefits. If your benefits are suddenly reduced or cut off, you should immediately speak with a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer for nurses.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Nurses and CNAs
If you were injured in a workplace assault at your CNA job in Charlotte, compensation may be available to help with your expenses. Our caring and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, led by founding attorney and Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist Martha Ramsay, are here to help you understand your legal rights, walk you through the claims process, and if necessary, fight aggressively to reverse claim denials and restore lost benefits. For a free legal consultation about getting workers’ comp for a CNA assault injury in North Carolina, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (704) 376-1616.