Throughout COVID-19, we’ve seen the importance of protecting health care workers as they work hard every day to protect their patients. These include nurses, paramedics and aged care workers.
However, even without a pandemic, employees in aged care and health care have higher than average incidents of work-related injuries. Manual handling accidents are particularly common. This can leave workers without an income for some time while they recover – and some suffer ongoing pain for the rest of their life.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in aged care or health care, due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost income, medical costs and other expenses. This will ease the financial burden on you and your family while you recover.
To get the full amount you’re entitled to, you should consider engaging a health care accident lawyer.
Common hazards in aged and health care
All employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace for staff, as well as training, instruction, and supervision to show staff how to perform their tasks in the safest way.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen, some of which may be out of your control. These are some common hazards for health care and aged care workers:
Lifting, supporting, and moving patients and furniture
Manual handling accidents in aged care are very common. Employees often need to move and lift patients, beds, mattresses, trolleys, and wheelchairs. This can cause sprains and strains on the back and shoulders. Back injuries can cause lifelong problems.
Unfortunately, violence from patients is too common in the health care and aged care industries. Workers have sustained serious injuries from being kicked, punched or pushed into walls and objects.
As well as physical injuries, aged and health care workers suffer mental health issues due to the stress of their job, whether as a result of violence or the daily toll of witnessing death, disease and tragedy.
Claiming a workers compensation payment
It’s essential to get medical help and report your injury or illness to your employer promptly. Then you can make a claim for workers compensation (known as WorkCover in some states). This will cover your lost income for the time you need off, as well as medical and rehabilitation costs.
How much you can receive depends on:
- the change in your quality of life (severity of your accident)
- how much income you have lost and will lose over time
- whether you’re able to do a different job until you’ve fully recovered
- how much you may have contributed to the accident, such as by not following instructions or protocols.
Make sure you keep all paperwork and other evidence that could help prove your case, including medical records, photos, and witness statements.
Refer to our compensation calculator for a guide on the compensation you may be eligible for.
Getting legal help
Worker’s compensation for health care and aged care accidents can be complex, so consider contacting an experienced WorkCover lawyer to get the right advice.
We will investigate your case and tell you how much you may be entitled to. We then process your paperwork and work on your behalf to get you a settlement.
However, it can take several months to get your compensation payout and there are time limits on making applications, so you should start as soon as possible.
Find out more
Contact us at Main Lawyers for a free, no-obligation chat about making a compensation claim.