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The seedier side of workers' compensation: Workplace assaults

California's doctors, nurses and other medical personnel do not always get to choose their patients. They deal with a variety of personalities, some of which can turn violent. The seedier side of workers' compensation deals with the prevalence of workplace assaults on health care workers.

Of course, the problem is not new. However, it appears that the number of assaults of health care workers by their patients has risen significantly due, at least in part, to the rise in opioid addiction. In fact, the problem has reached a point of critical mass, and federal and state governments are finally taking notice. California actually leads the charge in this area with enhanced reporting requirements for instances of assault by patients.

It is believed that medical facilities were hesitant to report such instances for fear of facing a large number of workers' compensation claims. However, each claim is independently evaluated, and only those that meet the appropriate requirements will move forward. Besides, if an employee suffers injuries at the hands of a patient, those benefits should be made available. It might be necessary for an injured health care worker to fight for his or her right to such benefits.

In those cases, it makes sense to seek the counsel and assistance of a workers' compensation attorney. After conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injuries suffered, a claim could be filed. With the right help, a health care worker injured in a workplace assault could get the benefits to which he or she may be entitled while continuing to focus on recovery.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Violence against health care workers captures regulators' attention", Gloria Gonzalez, April 26, 2017

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