First Responder’s Worker’s Compensation Options in Georgia
First responders and nurses are heroes. They rush in to help the injured despite dangers to themselves. They provide care for the sick and injured and, in many cases, must perform tasks that put themselves at risk for injury. But who pays for their injuries? Fortunately, nurses and first responders may get workers’ compensation benefits, and could have other options to recover damages too. Let us work with you to get the full compensation you deserve – call 770-951-8900.
Workers’ Compensation for Nurses
Nurses have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained in the course of their duties. This is an important point in any workers’ compensation claim – the injuries must arise as a result of one’s job duties.
Risk factors nurses face every day that could lead to injury include the following.
- Infection by a contagious patient
- Needle stick injuries
- Violent attacks by patients
- Injuries sustained in the course of transporting or moving patients
For example, if a nurse was lifting a patient and it resulted in a disc herniation, she would be entitled to the costs of her medical treatment under the workers’ compensation laws. She may also qualify for disability benefits if she misses work or if she suffers permanent impairment as a result of her injuries.
Workers’ Compensation for First Responders
First responders also face the risk of serious injuries at work. And like nurses and many other workers, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury in the course of their employment.
Some of the risks that police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics face include:
- Car accident
- Smoke inhalation and serious burns
- Exposure to hazardous substances
- Attacks by suspects or patients
- Overexertion from moving patients
They are entitled to recover medical benefits to treat their injuries, as well as disability benefits if they miss work or if they suffer permanent impairment from their injuries.
What if my workers’ compensation benefits are not enough?
Workers’ compensation is usually the primary means of getting benefits that injured workers need. However, there are cases where a third party – not an employer, co-worker, or the injured employee herself – caused or contributed to the accident and/or injuries. In these cases, injured first responders or nurses may be able to pursue a third-party liability claim
An example might be a nurse who suffered injuries in an assault by a patient whose restraints failed. His chart may have indicated his tendency towards violence and all the actions of the staff in attempting to restrain him may have been appropriate, but once the restraints failed that was irrelevant. The nurse may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the defective restraints.
Imagine a first responder is called to the home of a patient. The responder, racing in her emergency vehicle, suffers injuries when another car strikes hers. Clearly, her driving to a patient’s home is in the course of her employment so she would be entitled to workers’ compensation, but she could also take action against the at-fault driver who caused the wreck.
If you suffered injuries on the job, talk to injury attorney John Morrison about the options available to you depending on the circumstances of your case. Call the Law Offices of John Morrison at 770-951-8900 or fill out our online contact form. The initial consultation is free.