We are Chicago work comp lawyers who help people with work related injuries throughout Illinois. If you want a free consultation call us at 312-346-5578 or fill out our form and we will call you.
While we have helped people in just about every profession with Illinois workers’ compensation claims, we have probably helped more nurses than any other type of job. I enjoy them too, in a similar way that people tell me the best part of being in the hospital was the nurses. I like working with them because they almost always have a great work ethic and care about people.
While a CNA can do different things than a LPN who can do different things than a RN, they all do similar things as well. That’s because when you are a nurse, no matter what you know (which is often more than the doctor) you have to be willing to do whatever is needed for the patient. The most common activity they do that can lead to an Illinois work injury is lifting a patient.
I’ve probably heard a version of this accident 500 times in my 22+ years as an attorney:
I was helping a patient out of bed when they lost their balance and fell in to me and I had to support all of their weight.
While the most common injury lifting a patient causes is a back injury, I’ve talked to nurses who have torn their rotator cuffs, broken their wrists and hurt their legs. Lifting patients is for sure the number one health risk of being a nurse. In fact, over 35,000 nurses every year get a work related back injury.
It’s not just lifting patients once that cause back and shoulder injuries. I’ve studied this a lot and according to one report I read, nurses lift on average 1.8 tons of weight per day. Patients are bigger than ever and the repetitive nature of picking them up all day, week after week, can break down your body.
Beyond the obvious risks that cause problems for nurses, there are a lot of hidden risks too. Often a nurse is asked to do the work of two people. Many nurses we work with walk 8-10 miles a day throughout the hospital. There are so many liquids that can be spilled on to the floor that there is a really high risk of slip and falls. You can get infectious diseases like c-Diff because you are exposed to things that the average person doesn’t have to deal with. You can be physically attacked by a patient with mental health issues.
Most nurses are fortunately able to get back to work after getting some treatment. Some, especially those whose backs are just broken down, can’t return to the job. When that happens you are protected under Illinois workers compensation law. If your employer can’t find a new job for you within your restrictions you should continue to receive work comp benefits and get vocational rehabilitation to find a new career within your restrictions.
Whether it’s with us or any other firm, if you are injured while working we highly recommend that you hire an attorney who not only just handles work injuries, but also has a real track record of helping nurses and understands the unique risks they face. We have a state wide network of attorneys who fit that description. If you have questions about anything or want our help, call us any time.