Accidents and calamities are a common occurrence in the course of life. We, the general public, are lucky to have medical professionals who are highly trained and ever-ready to help save our lives. They are the unsung protectors of the public, but who protects our protectors and how?
The answer is simple the law.
The Worker's Compensation Act to be exact.
Every state has a different version of the Worker's Compensation Act but the core principles behind all of them sing the same tune.
Worker's compensation refers to the insurance that every worker is entitled to. This compensation may come in the forms of cash benefits and/or medical care. This insurance is paid for by the employer.
In the event that a worker sustains injuries or contracts a disease as a result of his employment and during the performance of his duties in relation to his occupation, this worker may file for a worker's compensation claim.
During the course of a worker's compensation case, there are no defendants present. This is purely a determination of whether the injured worker qualifies for compensation or not.
There are also no variables that can increase or decrease the amount of money that the insurer owes a worker. As aforementioned, the purpose of this type of case is to purely determine whether a worker qualifies for compensation or not.
Once the court determines and agrees that the claimant indeed qualifies for compensation, then the employer or the insurer pays the claimant the fees and the benefits as determined by the court.
Now, medical professionals are constantly at risk of exposure to disease and danger. Clinicians may become infected with a disease as they diagnose a patient in the same way that an EMT could be harmed during the course of assisting victims of a major earthquake.
In cases of calamities, the experience itself could cause anyone involved to develop a psychiatric illness; PTSD is the most common culprit of all.
Terrorist attacks are also another scenario where medical personnel is exposed to danger because of their occupation.
So, when are medical workers covered by the Worker's Compensation Act? Well, first and foremost, you have to look at what kind of injury the particular worker sustained.
For a medical worker, or any worker for that matter, to qualify for a compensation claim, the injury that he sustained must be severe enough to impair his ability to function both occupationally and socially.
A doctor cannot ask for compensation just because he got infected with a cold as he was diagnosing a patient. An EMT cannot ask for compensation just because a small rock fell on him during a rescue mission.
The law also states that an injury should be proven to be a result of the worker's occupation he wouldn't be put in that situation if it weren't for his occupation and that his injury should have been sustained during the performance of his duties.
One final determinant is sobriety. A claim will be automatically rejected if the claimant is found to be intoxicated or mentally hindered in any way at the time of the accident.
It should be noted that Worker's Compensation laws vary between states. Laws in California do not apply to those who reside in Philadelphia and vice versa. If you reside in Philly, you need to hire Philadelphia Workers Compensation lawyers. You need professionals who thoroughly understand the laws that govern your particular state.