Physical therapist helping man on yoga ball with weights physical therapist workers' comp

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help Injured Physical Therapists  

Physical therapy is a profession dedicated to restoring movement and function to individuals who experience injury or illness. It involves a range of physical tasks and interventions to improve patients' mobility, reduce pain, and promote overall wellness. However, the nature of the work can be physically demanding and may lead to injuries for physical therapists themselves.

If you’re injured as a physical therapist while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. As an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer at the Monast Law Office, my team and I can help you with this process.

Physical Therapy Job Demands

The work of a physical therapist encompasses various activities, including assessing patients' conditions, developing treatment plans, administering therapeutic exercises, and providing hands-on manual therapy. These tasks often require physical strength, endurance, and dexterity.

Physical therapists often engage in activities that strain their bodies, such as: 

  • Lifting and transferring patients
  • Demonstrating exercises
  • Performing manual therapy techniques 

Additionally, therapists may need to spend long hours on their feet, bending, kneeling, and reaching, further contributing to the physical demands of the job.

Injuries Physical Therapists May Encounter

Physical therapists often suffer from job-related injuries including, but not limited to, these issues:

Repetitive Use Damage

Performing repetitive motions such as joint mobilizations, manual therapy techniques, or showing exercises causes overuse injuries like tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Exertion Injuries

Transferring or supporting patients during therapy sessions stresses muscles and joints, resulting in sprains, strains, and dislocations.

Back and Shoulder Problems

The job's physical demands, including lifting patients, supporting clients to help them stand, or moving equipment, increase the risk of back injuries among physical therapists. They range from muscle strains to more severe conditions such as disc herniation. Many back injuries require therapists to take time off work and may require extensive treatment and sometimes surgery.

Slip and Falls

Slip and fall injuries occur due to factors such as uneven flooring, spills, or items like weights, chairs, and yoga balls left out of place. These accidents cause health problems ranging from sprains and strains to cuts and broken bones.

Assault or Abuse

While relatively rare, physical therapists may encounter situations where patients exhibit aggressive or abusive behavior, leading to physical injuries such as bruises or fractures.

Understanding Employment Statuses 

It's important to distinguish between employees and independent contractors and how employment status relates to workers’ compensation coverage in Ohio:

  • Employees. These individuals are typically covered by their employer's workers' comp insurance, which provides benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage extends to physical therapists employed by health care facilities, clinics, or rehabilitation centers.
  • Independent contractors. Other workers, including self-employed physical therapists who run their own practices, aren’t automatically covered by their clients' workers' comp insurance. Instead, they may need to secure their coverage through a private insurance policy or opt-in to the state's workers' comp program.

For physical therapists who work as independent contractors but provide services through a staffing agency or are subcontracted by another entity, their coverage status varies. Sometimes, the entity they work for may extend workers' comp coverage to them, while in others, they may need to obtain personal coverage.

It's essential for physical therapists, especially those in independent practice, to understand their workers' comp coverage options and ensure they have adequate protection against potential work-related injuries or illnesses. 

We Work Hard to Get the Physical Therapy Ohio Workers’ Compensation You Deserve

If the physical demands of your job as a PT lead to injuries that hinder your ability to work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and lost income. At Monast Law Office, our skilled legal team handles all parts of your work injury claim. From ensuring your paperwork is correct and thorough to advocating for you with your employer and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, we're here to support you every step of the way.