What to do if a needlestick injury happens to you
Needlestick or sharps injuries can have serious consequences for Chicago and greater Illinois healthcare workers. They can cause serious physical, psychological, and financial harm. At Ankin Law, we understand these consequences and want to provide you with the information you need to know about what to do following an Illinois needlestick injury.
First steps after an Illinois needlestick or sharps injury
Your health is the most important concern here, so medical treatment is the first thing to worry about. Wash the puncture site with soap and water. Report the accident to your employer immediately. If your accident occurred in a hospital or clinical setting, find out the infection status of the patient whose blood you were exposed to. Get tested for diseases that are commonly transmitted through needlestick injuries, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Follow your physician’s advice for what medical follow-up you need after you’ve been tested. And, make sure to create some documentation of your own regarding the incident, because it could prove useful in a workers’ compensation claim.
Your Illinois legal rights after a needlestick injury
At Ankin Law, we understand that you have suffered physical and emotional effects of your needlestick injury. Needlestick injuries are workplace injuries, so you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits just like other injured employees. Workers’ compensation following a needlestick injury can include medical expenses, weekly lost wage benefits, lump sum settlements, lost wage differential, and, if necessary, permanent total disability. These benefits will be paid by your employer’s insurance company. There are time limits on filing an Illinois workers’ compensation claim so contact us at Ankin Law right away to avoid losing out on benefits that you are entitled to receive.
Let your experienced attorney at Ankin Law know what steps your employer took (or didn’t take) to ensure workplace safety with needles. Ankin Law will explain the steps that will be involved in your workers’ compensation claim as well as your employer’s procedures for reporting and recording the accident.
The nature of needlestick injuries means that it can be difficult to demonstrate all the harm an injured healthcare worker has suffered, which in turn means it can be difficult to establish how much compensation you should receive following your injury. For example, some of the harm from a sharps injury is obvious, like the cost of medical treatment you receive after the injury. But there are other, less obvious costs, like lost wages from time off of work to receive medical treatment, follow-up testing for blood-borne diseases, and the emotional toll of the injury. This is why it’s important to hire the experienced needlestick attorneys of Ankin Law to represent you–you don’t want to lose out on benefits that are rightfully yours.
If you or a loved one in the Chicago, Illinois area has experienced a needlestick or sharps injury, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Chicago area lawyers of Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 for a free consultation.