Compensation for a Nurse Injured at Work
A healthcare provider employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) or in a private practice who suffers an injury in the course of their employment in an accident caused by the negligence of a health authority, colleague or manager may be eligible to claim compensation for a nurse injured at work — even though many nurses go without reporting such incidents as they accept that some of their duties carry an element of risk.
The following article provides general information on making a compensation claim for compensation if you are a nurse who has suffered an injury or illness in the course of your employment. It is, however, intended as a guide and is no substitute for seeking specific legal advice relating to your unique case from an experienced solicitor.
Work Injuries Which Qualify for Compensation
Because nurses and nursing auxiliaries perform such an extensive variety of tasks which could lead to a nurse injury at work compensation claim, it would be impossible to list a comprehensive range of work injuries which qualify for compensation. Therefore, selected below is a cross-section of scenarios where a lack of care may have caused an injury or illness.
Manual Handling and Lifting
Studies have proven that more than half of all nurse work injuries are associated with muscle strain, with a common cause being muscles damaged by the manual handling and lifting of patients. Cartilage injuries, joint injuries and spinal injuries are also frequent nurse work injuries that are often caused due to the manipulation of obese patients.
All medical equipment used in hospitals, clinics and other medical centres should be safe for both the patient and the nursing staff. Injuries which are sustained when a lack of care has been demonstrated in maintaining equipment to a safe standard include injuries due to a faulty endoscopy unit, defective bed injuries, and theatre nurse injuries. A typical example of faulty medical equipment is when wheelchairs are not properly maintained.
Chemicals present in hand scrubs can result in chlorhexadine injuries and skin complaints. Additionally, uniform skin complaints and hand washing injuries are other examples of injuries which can be sustained in the workplace for which you may be eligible to claim nurse work injury compensation.
The carelessness of colleagues can also lead to injuries. Examples are injuries from needle sticks and other sharp medical apparatus. Accidents sustained because of the carelessness of cleaners — if they did not place hazard signs to indicate a slip hazard, for example – and maintenance providers – if you tripped over a wire perhaps – may also entitle you to claim injured nurse compensation.
You may qualify for nurse work injury compensation for injuries which were sustained away from the medical centre. As an example, health visitor road accidents often happen because of tiredness or in the attempt to attend to a patient in a hurry.
It is the nursing manager’s responsibility to detect possible situations where a nurse may be injured by personal assault, situations that are not uncommon in the highly emotional setting of a hospital, clinic or medical centre.
Hospitals, clinics and other medical centres have a duty of care to protect its staff from injury and where you suffer and injury caused by a breach in that duty of care, you may be entitled to claim injured nurse compensation.
Prioritise Your Health
Although this may seem a point unnecessary to relay to members of the nursing profession, many nurses elect to work through their injuries — potentially leading to a further deterioration of their injury and also damaging their compensation for nurse injured at work claim. It is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention and to not rely on the administration of first aid if you have suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence.
Without a medical examination by a doctor, your injury will not be recorded in your medical history and unless you have proof of injury you cannot make a nurse injury at work compensation claim. If you delay in having a medical examination, you could be accused of exacerbating your injury through your own lack of care or it could be claimed that your injury occurred elsewhere. If you have followed all of the other standard injury claims procedures, a lack of immediate medical attention would not automatically disqualify you from making a nurse injury claim. However, the amount of injured nurse compensation that you receive could be reduced to account for your own personal contributory negligence.
Standard Procedures to Follow for a Nurse Work Injury Compensation Claim
There are some procedures that you should complete in order for your compensation for nurse injured at work claim to be supported – once it has been established that the injury sustained was due to a third party’s lack of care. You should have your injury recorded in the hospital’s Accident Report Book. Your written report gives you the opportunity to present your description of how the work accident happened and to make an official report of the injuries you have been diagnosed with.
After you have been medically treated for your injuries, you would be well advised in engaging an experienced personal injuries solicitor to assist you with your nurse work injury compensation claim. Your solicitor would be able to collect the necessary and relevant evidence of your accident at an early stage. Proof of negligence is often removed straight after an accident and a solicitor’s assistance in determining negligence and noting witness statements at the earliest opportunity may be the difference in succeeding with your nurse work injury compensation claim.
Compensation for Nurse Injured at Work
The amount of compensation for nurse injured at work that you may be eligible for will be influenced by a number of elements. The implications of a nurse work injury may depend on the ultimate compensation figure than the physical injury if it causes you to be forced to leave the vocation you spent a number of years training for.
General Damages for Physical Injury
Your solicitor will first consider the pain and suffering you experienced at the time of the injury and during your recuperation when he or she is compiling your claim for nurse at work injuries. Your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident and any pre-existing conditions and the potential issue of contributory negligence will all be taken into account when compiling this element of your claim.
General Damages for Emotional Trauma
There are numerous instances of when nurses can factor in emotional trauma in their claim, particularly those who sustain needle stick injuries where there is the threat of contracting a disease from an infected needle and those who experience psychological damage due to the nature of their injury, those who lose confidence due to the circumstances of their injury and those who suffer anxiety or depression during the recovery period.
General Damages for Loss of Amenity
Loss of amenity means the negative effect your injury has had on your quality of life. For example, an inability to perform everyday tasks, or being unable to drive or participate in social or leisure activities you previously enjoyed before your accident occurred.
Special Damages for Financial Loss
You may be able to recover any expenses you have incurred that are directly associated with your accident and/or injury, including medical treatment, alternative forms of transport if you can no longer drive, home help or the re-structuring of your home which may be included under the umbrella of “special damages” in your nurse injury at work compensation claim. If you have on-going absence from work, your compensation settlement should include your loss of income, overtime and pension contributions and also the future costs of medical care.
Statute of Limitations in a Nurse Injury at Work Compensation Claim
In Ireland, compensation for nurse injured at work claims must be filed within two years of the “date of knowledge” that an injury was sustained. More often than not, most nurse injury at work compensation claims are the date on which the accident at work occurred. In cases where the symptoms of the injury manifest later than the date the accident happened, the statute of limitations will begin from the date the injury was properly diagnosed.
Compensation for Nurse Injured at Work: Conclusion
No compensation for nurse injured at work figure can ever substitute for an injury which forces you to leave a vocation for which took several years to train for. However, with a sufficient compensation settlement you should not have to suffer any detriment to your quality of your life because of any negative financial consequences.
By making a nurse work injury compensation claim for a nurse work injury, you will not only be provided with a financial award for the injury you sustained but it may encourage your employer to pay more acute attention to workplace health and safety conditions and may prevent any future injuries happening to your wok colleagues and hospital, clinic or medical centre visitors.