Emergency Medical Technicians, ambulance drivers and paramedics are invaluable assets in the healthcare industry because they answer emergency calls, provide out-of-hospital care and transport patients to the nearest medical facilities. But, sadly, their heroism exposes them to a high risk of injuries and even fatalities that can easily go unnoticed.
Thankfully, as with most employees in Arizona, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they get injured in the line of duty. If you’ve been hurt as an EMT, ambulance driver or paramedic and want to pursue compensation, read on for some enlightenment.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
As with other first responders, EMS workers have a higher injury rate than many professionals. The most prevalent injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Multiple traumatic injuries
- PTSD and emotional trauma
- Leg and foot injuries
- Toxic exposure
For this reason, it’s good to know that EMS workers’ compensation covers medical expenses. This is meant to help alleviate their financial burdens and support their recovery.
Workers’ compensation benefits also include coverage for lost wages and disability during recovery and death benefits to the worker’s dependents in the event of a work-related fatality.
As first responders, EMS workers are also entitled to compensation for mental health conditions like depression and PTSD. However, you have to prove that your mental condition arose during your employment.
How to file for your workers’ compensation
Reporting any work-related injury or illness is the first step toward filing your workers’ compensation claim. And before you inform your immediate supervisor or employer about the incident, don’t forget to document the incident as thoroughly as possible, including the date, time, location and witnesses present.
As an EMS worker, you know the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after an accident. And that’s exactly what you should do after reporting your injury to the relevant authorities.
Ensure you follow the prescribed treatment plan, attend all necessary medical appointments and inform the healthcare provider that you were hurt in a work-related accident. From here, you can file your claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
EMS workers provide essential emergency medical services, often putting themselves at risk to save lives. Therefore, understanding the workers’ compensation system is vital to help ensure injured paramedics, EMTs and ambulance drivers receive the necessary medical care and financial support they deserve.