In San Diego, our safety and health depends heavily on the heroic work of emergency room doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. However, these workers face a grim danger not seen in most occupations – violent assaults.
California takes a tough stance on violent offenders who attack medical professionals. Perpetrators can face up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. However, the consequences sometimes don’t stop assaults from occurring in hospitals.
Violence is a growing problem
According to an American College of Emergency Physicians survey, which questioned more than 3,500 ER doctors across the United States, violent assaults are a growing problem. Roughly 47 percent of respondents experienced physical violence on the job. The perpetrators were patients, friends of patients, and relatives of patients. Out of those who experienced violence, 25 percent of them suffered injuries.
In most cases, those who assault ER doctors are:
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Involved in gang or street violence,
- Involved in violent domestic disputes, or
- Suffer from mental illness.
Common assaults including punching, kicking, biting, and stabbing can result in:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Mental and emotional trauma
What to do if you’ve been assaulted on the job
ER doctors should not have to experience violence while serving the public and making a living, nor should they have to live in fear every time they attend work.
If you have been hurt on the job due to the malicious behavior of others, your injuries may keep you out of work for an extended period of time. Moreover, your physical, mental, and emotional trauma may require months of physical and psychological therapy – all of which can be costly.
If you think filing a workers’ compensation claim is simple, think again. The state agency, and its insurer, responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits may be reluctant to compensate all losses associated with your workplace injury. What’s worse, the mental and emotional distress of a violent altercation can be difficult to prove and could potentially be dismissed. That’s why you need an experienced attorney on your side, helping you navigate every step of this complex process.
At the McLaughlin & Sanchez, we applaud the work of our health professionals, and we will fight to ensure that you are treated fairly by the workers’ compensation system. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.