COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Health Care Workers

Chicago Workers’ Compensation Law Firm for Health Care Workers

The health care industry is struggling to meet the rising demands of patient care with qualified staff. In short supply are doctors, advanced practice clinicians, nurse practitioners, front desk staff, billing specialists and lab technicians. With the rise of COVID-19 and its Delta and Omicron variants, health care workers are at particular risk of infection and disease. Many have caught COVID or have quit their jobs due to fear of getting sick from patients with COVID. As a result of the exodus from the industry hospitals and clinics are facing worker shortages and those employees who stay must work in strenuous conditions at understaffed sites. If you faced denial of your workers’ compensation claim as a health care worker, you should call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We’ve fought for fair handling of claims for workers in many different industries for more than sixty years. Several of our attorneys have been selected to Super Lawyers and received other recognition as well.

Health Care Workers’ Claims

As a health care employee in Chicago, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event that you are injured or made sick on the job. These benefits are no-fault benefits. This means you won’t need to establish somebody else is to blame for your injuries. The hospital or clinic where you work is supposed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, and the insurer should provide certain benefits if you sustain a work-related injury or illness, regardless of whether you are partially to blame or can demonstrate your employer is to blame for your harm. Workers’ compensation benefits you may be able to obtain include medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.

Medical Benefits

Medical benefits can include first aid, emergency care, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. For example, if you are a Chicago nurse who slips on a substance left on the bathroom floor of the hospital and suffer a fracture of your tailbone, you may need emergency care, along with medications, doctor’s visits, and even the costs of surgeries and rehabilitation.

Disability Benefits

You can also obtain disability benefits if you are unable to work due to a work-related injury. For example, in the above case of a tailbone fractured on the job, you may not be able to perform your work as a nurse for 8-12 weeks. During that time, you may be eligible to obtain 2/3 of your average weekly wage in the form of temporary total disability benefits. You can’t obtain disability benefits until you’ve been unable to work for at least 3 days; if you remain unable to work for 14 days, you can obtain benefits for the first three days retroactively.

Contracting COVID-19 on the Job

You may be especially concerned about your recourse if you catch COVID-19 while working. In 2020, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission tried to enact a rule that created a rebuttable presumption that essential workers who contracted COVID were exposed at work and could therefore obtain workers’ compensation benefits such as medical care and disability benefits related to the illness. While this rule did not survive, the governor signed into law a bill that created a rebuttable presumption of workers’ compensation coverage for first responders and front-line workers, which included health care workers. It covers diagnoses made between March 9, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

Employers are able to challenge a coronavirus claim if they believe you didn’t develop the virus on the job because they have reason to think you were exposed to COVID-19 by your spouse or another family member in your household. You should be aware that your social media may be surveilled, or you may be subject to physical surveillance by an insurer trying to avoid liability for a workers’ compensation claim. It is wise to restrict what you post or say accordingly.

Due to frequently changing pandemic conditions, this area of law is evolving, and it’s important to talk to a lawyer if you develop COVID that you believe is work-related because you are a health care worker.

Hire a Chicago Law Firm for Health Care Workers’ Claims

Chicago health care workers are currently under a great deal of stress and strain. You should have an experienced attorney by your side as you seek benefits for work-related injuries. Our seasoned lawyers represent health care workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.