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Nurse injured on the job in correctional facility

Regular readers of our Denver personal injury law blog are aware of the risks of workplace injury that nurses face on the job every day. Hospitals and clinics, elder care facilities and similar health care settings are the most common, but nurses work in a number of settings that Denver residents might not immediately think of, and they face unusual risks as well.

Take the recent example of a nurse at a Midwestern correctional facility. An inmate had been directed by a guard to go to his cell when he grew suddenly violent. He charged the guard and knocked him to the ground, proceeding to assault him. A nearby nurse joined two other guards' efforts to pull the inmate away; the nurse was kicked and suffered an injury in the process.

Nurses who treat patients in correctional centers and similar facilities are uniquely vulnerable to injury by assault. They do not carry weapons or protective gear, and they likely do not have the same training on interacting with the population that officials receive. It is fortunate that workers' compensation is available to support nurses injured on the job in these settings. Otherwise, one might expect that few would be willing to take the risks to see patients in what are often relatively unsafe working conditions.

It is, however, unfortunate that injured nurses' claims for workers' compensation may be (and often are) initially denied. Questions may be raised about whether a nurse was acting within the course of his or her job-related tasks at the time of the injury. A legal professional can help advocate of behalf of injured nurses facing challenges in the workers' compensation process.

Source: WQAD, "Nurse and officer injured by inmate at Coralville Classification Center," March 1, 2018

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