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Can you get workers’ compensation for infections?

Imagine being at work and stepping on a sharp object or cutting yourself on an exposed blade. In either case, you might need medical attention to address a serious laceration.

While a stitched wound might be secure enough to allow you to return to work, there is still a risk of infection. If an infection does take hold and lead to complications, then the medical care that you need, as well as other financial support, may be paid by workers’ compensation.

Infections, as well as infectious diseases, that are acquired at work may be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, if you get stuck by a used needle or are cut by a scalpel, you could seek workers’ compensation to cover the cost of medical care, medications and lost wages if you have to miss enough work to qualify.

For serious infections like sepsis or tetanus, workers’ compensation may be particularly helpful.

What can you do to avoid serious infections on the job?

One of the things to remember is that most serious infections are caused by bacteria or viruses that do have vaccinations. For example, you can get a tetanus shot if you’ve cut yourself on metal that was lying in the dirt outside or ask for a rabies shot if you were bitten and suffered injuries while working with a wild animal on site.

Sepsis is caused when an infection reaches your blood stream and may require significant medical attention, but early treatment and cleaning of any serious wounds may help reduce the likelihood of this illness. Antibiotics may also assist in preventing sepsis when you’re undergoing medical treatment for a laceration.

If you’re hurt at work, you have an opportunity to seek workers’ compensation no matter how minor an injury may first appear to be. Let your employer know that you’ve been injured, and then look into seeking care. From there, keep track of your injury and make sure you follow your treatment plan. If it worsens, seek additional care, and let your employer know that your injury required additional attention. You can make a workers’ compensation claim to cover, at a minimum, the cost of your care.