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Veterinarian Work Injuries

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Veterinarians in South Florida are a specific kind of health care provider for animals. While veterinarians may not be at the same risk of injury as health care providers in other types of settings — such as hospitals, emergency departments, and nursing homes — they are nonetheless at risk of workplace injuries. Work injuries for veterinarians and veterinary technicians include those that are common to many workplaces (such as slips and falls or repetitive motion injuries), as well as those that are specific to the profession (such as animal bite injuries). How do injuries happen in this profession? And what do veterinarians and veterinary technicians need to know about seeking workers’ compensation coverage? Our Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can say more.

Common Duties of Veterinarians 

Veterinarians are at risk of many kinds of injuries on the job as a result of routine duties and tasks associated with their profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following are just some of the duties that are common for veterinarians in Florida and across the country:

  • Examining animals in order to assess their health and any medical issues;
  • Diagnosing animal health issues by performing exams and reading laboratory results;
  • Performing animal surgery;
  • Administering vaccines and medications to animals;
  • Testing animals for diseases;
  • Operating veterinary medical equipment;
  • Providing advice to animal owners about medical issues and treatment options;
  • Prescribing animal medications; and
  • Euthanizing animals.

Veterinarians can provide care to domestic animals, as well as to large farm animals and to “exotic” animals at zoos. Some veterinarians work particularly with “food animals” (meaning animals raised as food sources) or as inspection veterinarians that work on issues of animal welfare and routinely providing livestock testing. Injuries can occur while veterinarians and their technicians or assistants are operating equipment or even walking through a veterinary facility, as well as while examining, diagnosing, or administering tests on or medications to animals.

Seeking Workers’ Compensation Coverage as a Veterinarian 

Whether you were injured while operating veterinary medicine tools, as a result of a slip and fall in a veterinary office, or while examining an animal, you may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. Employers with four or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees, and it is essential to know that certain workers never assume risks associated with their jobs such that they would not be compensable through the workers’ compensation system, such as animal bite injuries for vets.

To seek compensation, you will need to report any workplace injury to your employer within 30 days from the date of the injury, and seek medical care from an approved provider. For emergencies, you can see any medical provider for your initial assessment and care.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Pompano Beach 

Anyone who has been injured on the job while working with animals, as a veterinarian or veterinary technician, should seek advice from an attorney about filing a workers’ compensation claim and seeking workers’ compensation benefits. One of the experienced Pompano Beach workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can talk with you today to provide you with more information about your personal circumstances and your options.

Sources:

bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm#tab-2

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0440/0440.html

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