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Nurses With Permanent and Total Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Health Care Workers

Nurses are trained professionals who care for patients in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings. In the course of providing care, they face many occupational risks ranging from blood-borne pathogens to repetitive stress injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found a high injury and illness rate in hospitals. Nurses are injured at alarming rates. Nurses with permanent and total disabilities from a work-related accident should contact the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to understand the range of benefits available to them.

Nurses with Permanent and Total Disabilities

Nurses help patients move in and out of beds, bathe patients, rotate patients, and transport medical equipment. In the course of their work, they may sustain sprains, cuts, punctures, fractures, bruises, trauma, and musculoskeletal injuries while on the job. Some patients may attack nurses or injure them with by sharp devices contaminated with pathogens. Around 1/3 of back injuries sustained by health care providers are associated with moving patients and some of these injuries are permanently disabling.

When these job-related injuries prevent a nurse from ever working again, the nurse may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits without needing to prove fault. Likewise, your employer cannot keep you from receiving benefits by demonstrating that you were at fault for your permanent total disability. For example, a hospital cannot withhold benefits from you even if you became injured when you lifted a patient incorrectly.

Who Receives Permanent Total Disability Benefits?

Benefits to which you may be entitled based on your permanent, total disability include disability pay, reasonable and necessary medical care, and vocational rehabilitation. If you are permanently and completely unable to work as the result of a work-related injury, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. Additionally, permanent total disability benefits may be available if you lost use of both your feet, legs, arms, hands, eyes or any two of these. These benefits are tax-free.

Your permanent total disability benefits would equal 2/3 of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum determined by the state average weekly wage. For example, if your head struck a sharp object when you slipped and fell while lifting a patient, you may be able to obtain permanent total disability benefits for the brain injuries that left you completely unable to work for the rest of your life.

Sometimes, you may be able to negotiate with an insurer pay the permanent total disability benefits in a single lump sum settlement instead of through weekly installments over time. You should be aware that certain rights may be waived if you accept a lump sum settlement. To protect your legal rights, discuss the lump sum payment and your situation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before signing a settlement agreement.

Maximum Medical Improvement

An insurer will only provide permanent total disability benefits once you have reached maximum medical improvement, which is the point at which your recovery has plateaued. If a doctor determines you are permanently and completely disabled at the point at which you can no longer improve, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits.

Average Weekly Wage

Nurses with permanent and total disabilities are eligible for disability benefits based on their average weekly wage. There are four ways these benefits are calculated. For most nurses, the average weekly wage will be determined based on your actual earnings in the 52 weeks you worked prior to your work-related injury.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

If you are a nurse with permanent and total disabilities due to work injuries in Chicago, you should discuss the viability of a workers’ compensation claim with the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents injured nurses in 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.