Direct care work is one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the United States. There is a demand for caretakers because there are many aging people who are only getting older and struggling more with their mobility.
In addition to those aging individuals, there are plenty of others who are disabled and in need of assistance on a daily basis. While direct care workers have important jobs to do, there are times when these healthcare workers can end up with injuries that would put them out of work.
Injury risks for direct care workers
Direct care workers take on many responsibilities in the caring for other individuals. Often, these jobs require a lot of physical strain on their bodies. A direct care worker can sustain injuries on the job when:
- Lifting a patient from the bed into a wheelchair or from the wheelchair into the vehicle to get to an appointment
- Slipping on a wet surface while trying to help a patient with their hygiene
- Tripping down the staircase
- Slipping or tripping over something at the doctor’s office while taking a patient to an appointment
- Getting into a car accident while taking a patient to an appointment
Repetitive stress injuries, strains and sprains, and broken bones are among the greatest risks for home health aides and other direct care workers, but they may also face toxic exposure (to blood or medications), head injuries (from falls or falling objects), infections, and overexertion injuries.
Can direct care workers claim workers’ compensation?
Direct care workers may be able to collect workers’ compensation if they are employed by a larger company, and listed as employees. As of January 2015, “many direct care workers, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, and other caregivers are protected by the FLSA,” including live-in workers, so long as they are employed by a third-party employer. In other words, if you are hired directly by a family, you may be ineligible for workers’ comp benefits if you get hurt.
If a direct care worker is ineligible for workers’ compensation, it may be best to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if the worker is injured at the hospital or doctor’s office while caring for a patient, the worker may then file a lawsuit against the hospital or doctor’s office due to hazardous conditions.
If you are a direct care worker and you have been injured while on the job, you need legal assistance. Wagner & Wagner would like to get more information about the accident and the injuries you have sustained. Call our Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers at 423-756-7923 or complete our easy contact form on our website today. We serve clients in North Georgia, Cleveland, TN, Chattanooga and all surrounding counties.