We have had the privilege of working with and talking to thousands of nurses, CNA’s and other medical professionals over the years.
The most common call we get is from a nurse who assisted in lifting a heavy or immobile patient and injured his/her back. Handling that case isn’t much different than helping a factory worker with a back injury from lifting a box. The biggest difference is that nurses rarely have a light duty job that they can return to so if they are dealing with a long term physical problem we have to make sure that we assist in getting them a new job within their restrictions.
A nurse is unique in other ways. The main one is that they can get injuries from being exposed to their patients and being in the trenches so to speak.
Infections like MRSA live in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities. So does c-Diff which can be a crippling injury to your colon.
It’s possible to get these problems anywhere and if you are a nurse who has this issue, that is sure to be the defense laid out by the insurance company. They will fight you if you try to bring a case. No worries, that’s why we exist.
If we can prove that more likely than not that you caught MRSA, c-Diff or any other medical problem from your patients then you should receive Illinois workers’ compensation benefits for those problems and all of your medical care and time off work should be covered. You also, of course, would be entitled to a settlement.
To win you’d have to credibly testify that you were treating patients with these problems or working on a floor where people had these illnesses. It’s not a slam dunk case, but usually credible testimony and an absence of another risk factor (e.g. if your spouse had MRSA before you got it) is enough to win. Often a co-worker is called in to corroborate what you have to say, but it’s not always necessary.
In general, if you are a nurse and get inflicted with an injury while working from a patient, you should be covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. After that it’s like any other case. Focus on your health, get medical care, report your injury and come to us if you think you need help of just have questions. We are always happy to talk, for free, at (312) 346-5578 or if you fill out our contact form to the right. We help nurses everywhere in Illinois.