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Archive for May, 2017

Risk of Injury in the Nursing Industry

May 19th, 2017 at 8:25 pm

injury-to-nursesWork injuries can happen in any industry. However, some professionals are more likely to experience an injury than others. For example, the construction industry is well known for its high rate of work injuries and fatalities. There is also another high-risk industry – the healthcare field – but it does not receive the same amount of attention as it should. Perhaps this is due, in part, to the reduced risk of immediate fatality from an injury. Whatever the reason for the lack of discussion may be, injuries in the healthcare field deserve recognition.

Nurses Especially Prone to Back Injuries

On any given day, a nurse can lift thousands of pounds. They must move patients, and may even be required to help one up that has passed out or fallen. Rarely is there equipment nearby to help – and even when there is, the situation may be too emergent to wait for the machinery to do its job. So, nurses lift. They bend. They lift and bend, all at the same time. Good body mechanics can help, but it is far from fail-proof.

Long-term work as a nurse, years of lifting and transferring patients, can take a toll on the muscles and structures of the back. A sudden slip of a patient while transferring can suddenly pull a nurse in the wrong direction. Add all of that to several hours (often 12 or more) walking and standing, and it is no wonder that back injuries are one of the most commonly experienced injuries among nurses.

Assault is Surprisingly Common

Assault is yet another common (but often misrepresented) injury risk among nurses. It is most common among those who work within assisted living facilities, such as residential centers for patients with disabilities or the elderly. However, assaults can and do occur in emergency rooms and hospitals as well. Patients who are suffering from a diabetic crash, brain injury, or some sort of illness or injury that changes the way their brain functions could react in ways that are not typical. An example would be attacking someone who is trying to help them, such as their nurse. It is not an overly common occurrence, but it can be severe.

Pursuing Workers’ Compensation After an Injury

If you or someone you love has been injured while working as a nurse, it is important that you seek experienced legal assistance. Not only do you have to worry about the time you may miss healing from the initial injury, but you should also consider its ability to impact your future. Let the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio help you navigate the complex process. Call 630-574-2288 and schedule your free consultation with our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer today.

 

Sources:

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/nurse-work-comes-with-injury-risks/article_e134feea-9ce9-5bf9-902e-07ed55767455.html

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3826.pdf

Appellate Court Ruling Could Affect of Workers’ Comp for High-Risk Industries

May 5th, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Illinois workers comp lawyer, Illinois job injury attorneyThere are certain jobs in which the risk of death is known. For example, firefighters and law enforcement officers know and understand that fatality is a possibility. Unfortunately, that knowledge does not make witnessing the death of a partner or colleague any easier. Some may even be at risk for serious trauma issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may leave them unable to return to work.

Typically, workers’ compensation covers injuries in which employees are unable to work; some even include psychological work-related injuries, such as PTSD. However, these high-risk industries have not, historically, offered such compensation. That may soon change, thanks to a recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling.

Firefighter Claims Workers’ Compensation for PTSD

Court documents outline how a fire lieutenant/paramedic was directed to take command of an incident during a house fire in March of 2010. Shortly after he took over, a flashover occurred. One firefighter, who was in obvious physical distress, was brought out of the building by two others. That injured firefighter ended up dying.

After having their fire house covered for a week after the loss, the lieutenant struggled to return to his regular duties. He claimed he was having nightmares, struggled to fall asleep, and even experienced issues when trying to interact with other people (his family included). His attorney allegedly suggested he see a psychiatrist, who then diagnosed him with PTSD. The lieutenant returned to work in October of 2010 and was released from treatment in December, but then returned to treatment just one month later. He claimed he was struggling with feelings of guilt and could not shut the incident out. His attorney then allegedly referred him to a psychotherapist. The lieutenant was then diagnosed with chronic PTSD.

Denied Claim Goes to Illinois Appellate Court

Originally, the lieutenant’s claim was denied; an arbitrator ruled that it was not an injury, but rather a tragic risk and consequence of the job. Further, the arbitrator stated that the lieutenant did not witness the injury, nor did he witness his team member’s death, which nullified his claim. The Illinois Appellate Court, who heard his case after it was denied, disagreed. They ruled that he had, in fact, experienced emotional shock during the incident, and stated it had been the cause of his psychological injury. As such, the original ruling was overturned.

The Appellate Ruling and Your Claim

While the recent ruling does suggest that psychological injuries are starting to get the attention they deserve, many are still at risk for a denial of their claims. Further, psychologically injured employees that work within high-risk industries may be even more likely to experience a denial, even after this ground-breaking case. Such industries can include everything from law enforcement and emergency response to construction work.

Reduce your risk of a denied workers’ compensation claim with help from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Dedicated and experienced, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys fight for the most favorable outcome possible. We protect your rights, and your best interests, every step of the way. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call 630-574-2288 and schedule your consultation today.

 

Source:

https://casetext.com/case/moran-v-ill-workers-comp-commn

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