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Initial Claims for Nurses

Chicago Lawyers for Health Care Workers

As a nurse, you face numerous risks on the job that others may not appreciate. You may be injured while lifting a patient, moving equipment or in a slip and fall accident. Illinois workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system that covers medical treatment and provides financial renumeration for lost wages due to job-related injuries. It’s designed to provide faster access to treatment and disability payments than litigation in court. In practice, an insurer may deny your valid claim or not provide the full amount of benefits to which you’re entitled. If you were injured at work, the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help file initial claims for nurses.

Initial Claims for Nurses

If you are a nurse who was injured on the job, you should provide the hospital, clinic, nursing home or other health care facility with notice of your job-related injury as soon as possible. While the law allows the notice to be verbal, written notice is preferable since it documents that the employer received notification of the injury. Your employer’s handbook may provide a particular procedure for giving notice of work injuries. The written notice must be provided within 45 days of a work incident that causes injuries. However, it’s smart to give notice long before that to avoid arguments by your employers’ insurer that your injuries are not truly work-related. Additionally, if you give notice more than 45 days after the incident, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits altogether.

The insurer should investigate the incident and either accept or deny the claim once notice is given. It may start paying your benefits right away. However, it may keep investigating, particularly if your injuries are serious and require expensive care or disability for many months or years. Investigation may take the form of surveillance, either in-person or online. For instance, an investigator may try to send you a friend request on social media to keep tabs on whether your shared posts and photos contradict the injuries you are claiming. On social media, many people present versions of themselves that are happier or healthier than they are. They might take smiling photographs on vacation or post a photograph showing them lifting weights or their child. It’s best to be aware that your insurer may be skeptical of initial claims for nurses which do not match evidence collected online or through visual surveillance.

Application for Adjustment of Claim

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission oversees workers’ compensation claims. Within three years of being injured on the job, you should file an Application for Adjustment of Claims. There are exceptions to this rule. However, it’s important to discuss your particular case with a lawyer right away. Some injured nurses may assume they don’t need to file the Application for Adjustment of Claim because their employers’ insurers are already paying benefits. However, disputes with an insurer can arise down the road, even after the initial claim. Submitting an Application for Adjustment of Claims even though you are receiving benefits will allow you to schedule a hearing quickly in the event of a dispute.

You should send your Application to your employer and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission should send you a notice of hearing that specifies the date of a status hearing and the arbitrator who will hear your case. There are periodic status hearings after that initial hearing, but unless either you or the insurer asks for a trial or one of you asks an arbitrator to resolve the matter, each of your attorneys can appear for you. If a dispute arises and either you or the insurer asks for resolution, you can request that the arbitrator hear it.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

If you are a nurse who is concerned medical treatment or partial disability payments after a work-related injury, you should discuss your workers’ compensation claim with the seasoned Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent injured nurses in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora, and as well as Cook, Kane, Adams, Winnebago and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.