Working as a nurse can be incredibly rewarding. You can help people when they need it the most, guide them through the process of healing and even help them give birth to a new life. Sometimes, however, being a nurse can place you at serious physical risk. Many nurses are aware of the potential for an accidental needle stick, which happens when you get poked by a needle. Sometimes, it’s a fresh needle. In a worst-case scenario, however, the needle has already been inside someone with a serious blood-borne disease. In that situation, it is possible for a previously healthy nurse to contract a disease.
Nurses who have become traumatized or sickened by an accidental needle stick generally qualify for workers’ compensation. However, navigating the process of applying and understanding if a settlement is the best option can be difficult. Your best option for maximum benefits after an accidental needle stick while working as a nurse comes from retaining the services of an experienced attorney who understands the Minnesota workers’ compensation program. There has been a reduction in paid claims recently, which only underscores how difficult it can be to navigate the workers’ compensation system.
Needle sticks can have a lasting impact on your health
There are a broad range of illnesses, from HIV to Hepatitis, that get transmitted via blood. These blood-borne illnesses can be lifelong and in some cases, terminal. HIV, which used to be fatal for most who had an infection, can now be treated successfully with a cocktail of medications. Those drugs are expensive. Many of the treatments for chronic blood-borne illnesses are expensive. If you are not able to work because of your communicable illness, it may be difficult or even impossible to retain health insurance and manage the costs of medical treatments for your acquired condition.
That’s where workers’ compensation comes in. Workers’ compensation should cover your medical costs and lost wages. You may also be eligible for job re-training to help you find a new career with similar wages. If you experience post-traumatic stress from the needle stick incident, workers’ compensation may cover the expenses related to therapy and other treatments. Your best hope for a fair outcome to your workers’ compensation claim after an accidental needle stick will come from working with an experienced Minnesota attorney who will advocate for your rights.
An attorney can help you with workers’ compensation
From the application to the appeals process, the paperwork and requirements of workers’ compensation can be complicated and frustrating. Your attorney can help ensure that everything gets properly filled out and submitted as it should. Your lawyer can also help you review any lump sum settlement offered to ensure that it is fair and will cover ongoing financial losses related to your needle stick.