Nurses Injured on the Job
In Illinois, nurses injured on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Although the workers’ compensation system was designed to make it easier to recover benefits than it is to recover damages in a civil suit, in practice, it can be challenging to navigate this system. Insurers may try to avoid paying benefits using spurious denials or not pay the full amount owed. Injured nurses can protect their legal rights by consulting with the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.Nurses Injured on the Job
Injuries commonly sustained by nurses include strains, sprains, head injuries, broken bones, infections from airborne pathogens, blood-borne infectious diseases, and slipped discs. Nurses are routinely exposed to infectious illness. Nurses may be injured in slip and falls. Nurses often have to lift patients and in so doing, may suffer strains or sprains of their lower backs or shoulders. Additionally, lifting and transferring patients can damage the discs that cushion the spine.Workers’ Compensation System
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers all injuries caused by an employee’s work. This system requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees so that they are provided certain benefits for on-the-job injuries. As a nurse, if you are injured on the job, you may be eligible for benefits. The only injuries not covered are those sustained while committing a crime, those injuries that are self-inflicted, injuries sustained while not on the job, and those that violate company policy. If you want advice on whether you are entitled to benefits for your work-related injuries, speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
You may receive an unfair denial of benefits, or you may not be provided the full benefits to which you are entitled. Sometimes, claims are denied on the grounds that a nurse has a pre-existing condition. However, this is not necessarily a valid denial. Even if you have a prior injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your prior injury was exacerbated or aggravated by your nursing work. For example, if you had a history of slight disc herniation, but lifting patients at work caused that disc to rupture, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits because work exacerbated an existing problem.Workers Compensation Benefits for Nurses Injured on the Job
Benefits to which you may be entitled include medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, and permanent partial disability benefits. If a nurse passes away due to work-related reasons, the surviving spouse or child may be entitled to death benefits. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer or its insurer is obliged to pay medical costs for anything reasonable needed to cure or relieve you from the effects of your injury This can include doctor visits, as well emergency care, surgery, prosthetics and pharmaceuticals. The nature and severity of your injury will dictate what is considered reasonably necessary in terms of care. The treatment needs to be authorized by the insurer.
If you cannot return to your job as a nurse due to work-related injuries, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, which may include education, training, job counseling and other help finding a different job. Work-related injuries may leave a nurse unable to continue with nursing, which is physically demanding. However, through training or education, the nurse may pursue work in another capacity, whether in a hospital or elsewhere.
Disability benefits to which you may be entitled include temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total, or permanent partial disability benefits. These are calculated in different ways. Temporary total disability benefits, for instance, are equal to 2/3 of your average gross weekly wage, if you are temporarily unable to do your job as a nurse while recuperating from your injuries.Retain a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago
Nurses are often engaged in strenuous work, and injuries can leave them unable to care for patients. If you were injured at work, contact the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca for a consultation. We advise and represent injured nurses throughout the workers’ compensation claim process in Chicago, Aurora, Quincy, Champaign, and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.