Where The Injured
Go To Protect Their Rights

How does workers’ comp work for health care professionals?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Health care professionals in California work in an environment that constantly exposes them to potential hazards. Understanding the workers’ compensation system is crucial for these workers, who are on the front lines of patient care.

This blog sheds light on what health care workers in California need to know about their rights and protections under the state’s workers’ comp laws.

Eligibility and coverage

Workers’ compensation benefits are mandatory for all employees under California law. This includes health care professionals who are employees of hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities.

Common health care worker injuries

Health care workers may suffer from a variety of work-related injuries or illnesses. These can include:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Needlestick injuries
  • Back injuries due to lifting patients
  • Stress-related conditions

Workers’ compensation can cover the costs of medical treatment for these issues and provide benefits for lost income and disability. It also gives supplemental job displacement benefits and death benefits.

Filing a claim

To initiate a claim, injured health care workers must report their injury to their employer using the DWC Form 1 as soon as possible. Following this, they will receive a claim form from their employer, which they must complete and return. It’s important to act promptly, as delayed reporting can affect the benefits received.

Navigating the claims process

Once a health care worker files their claim, they may need to undergo an independent medical examination to confirm the injury and its relation to their job. The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) oversees the process and can assist with any disputes or issues that arise. Health care employees should keep detailed records of their injury and related treatment to ensure a smooth claims process.

However, the claims process isn’t always straightforward. An employer or insurer can still deny a health care worker’s claim, even if the worker has already received medical treatment. Fortunately, a legal professional experienced in workers’ comp cases can help workers appeal a denied claim.