All types of jobs, no matter the industry or the nature of the job, will come along with its own workplace hazards. A truck driver may face safety issues associated with the equipment the company provides and a restaurant employee may face safety threats from wet floors and hot surfaces, for example. Employers are legally mandated to carry workers' compensation insurance to pay for your lost wages and medical costs when you are injured on the job, but many people have questions about the specifics of what is covered, especially healthcare workers when it comes to contracted illnesses on the job.
In the process of treating patients, healthcare workers face workplace risks that are significantly different than the usual employee, and the risk of contracting an infectious disease is one of those risks. Here's what you should know if you ever catch an illness while at work in a hospital, nursing home, or another healthcare workplace.
Specifics regarding types of illnesses exist.
Infectious disease is a condition that is considered contagious from one person to another, but beyond this basic definition, illnesses can be treated differently according to the situation. For example, someone who catches AIDS from an infected patient may have no problem getting workers' comp, but another individual who contracts hepatitis C from a patient may face problems.
Laws can vary according to the state where you work.
All states have their own guidelines regarding occupational illnesses, and some states have lacking laws in the area, which can make it difficult to successfully file a claim and be compensated without legal assistance. For example, in the state of Minnesota, an occupational disease that would be covered by workers' compensation would be an illness that the employee was at a greater risk of contracting inside the workplace than what they would be as an ordinary citizen.
It is common for infectious disease claims to be denied.
As it goes with a lot of other types of workplace injuries, it is quite common for employees' claims to be denied when they have contracted an infectious disease on the job. If this happens to you, it is important that you work with a workers' compensation attorney for advice. Even if the insurance company and your employer are inferring that the contraction of the illness was your fault, there may still be a claim, and you deserve to be paid for your lost time and medical expenses.
For more information, contact a workers' compensation attorney.