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Vermont Leads Nation in Young Adults on Disability

Although this article seems alarming at first, a close reading shows that higher disability rates in Vermont may be related to our low number of uninsured individuals. Vermonters are seeing their healthcare providers, getting a diagnosis, and being connected to programs that can help them at a higher rate than in many other states. This is a testament to the strong social services that we are fortunate to have here.

From VPR.net: Vermont is perennially ranked as one of the healthiest states in the country, but new research has uncovered findings that seem to fly in the face of that distinction. And young adults are leaving the workforce at an alarming rate due to mental and physical disabilities. Read more.

Caring for Patients Puts Nurses in Harm’s Way

Nursing staff are hNurse with back painighly likely to get injured on the job—and back injuries from moving and lifting patients are the primary cause. A series on NPR, Injured Nurses, explores this situation in more depth. At Biggam, Fox & Skinner, we see many of the people behind the statistics–like our client V.B., a certified wound care nurse who worked at a hospital in southwestern Vermont (see “A Nurse’s Story” below). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing employees suffered more than 38,000 back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders that caused them to miss work in 2013. At the top of the list for musculoskeletal injuries were nursing assistants, with registered nurses ranked fifth—both ahead of firefighters, construction workers, and manufacturing workers. As part of their jobs, nursing staff regularly lift heavier loads than many industrial workers. Not all hospitals invest in patient-lifting equipment, and in those that do it’s not always readily available 24/7. Attorney Kelly Massicotte notes that injured nurses may often overlook work restrictions out of a desire to help their patients. “This isn’t surprising,” says Kelly, “because most nurses care deeply about their patients and go out of their way to help them. When a patient falls or needs to get to a bathroom, there’s often no time to wait for the hospital’s lift team to arrive. Nurses automatically step in to help, often at considerable risk of injury to themselves.”

Choose the Right Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Choosing the right workers’ compensation attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case, especially in a complex and highly specialized area like workers’ compensation. While all attorneys must have a law degree and pass the state bar exam in order to practice law in Vermont, their depth of experience and overall competence can vary widely. Having the right attorney on your side can affect not only whether you win your case but also any settlement you may be awarded.

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