Nurses are expected to regularly lift, transfer, carry, and assist patients, who may be physically larger than themselves. These demands can place tremendous strain on the upper, middle, or lower back, potentially leading to serious injury. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, the nurse may be unable to work, or may need to drastically limit their hours. Workers’ Compensation provides income for CNAs, LPNs, and other nurses who are injured while lifting patients at work. This applies to nurses who work in hospitals, pediatric offices, dental offices, and other medical facilities throughout North Carolina.
If you hurt your back while lifting a patient at your nursing job, ask the Charlotte workman’s comp lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm how we can help you get the benefits you deserve. You’ve spent your career caring for others; now let our work injury attorneys help take care of your claim. For a free legal consultation about Workers’ Compensation for nurses in North Carolina, contact us online today, or call the Ramsay Law Firm at (704) 376-1616.
Nursing Back Injuries Caused by Lifting Patients
Nurses are exposed to many hazards in the workplace, from patients committing assault or falling down, to spills causing slip and fall accidents. Among the many occupational dangers that are faced by LPNs, CNAs, RNs, and other types of nurses, one of the gravest risks is a debilitating back injury. The physical strain of hoisting and moving patients can tear or overextend muscle fibers, tendons, nerves, ligaments, or the supportive, fluid-filled discs between vertebrae.
Certain types of back injuries can take months to heal, causing chronic pain while limiting strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Some injuries may even require surgical repair and intervention. Examples of common back injuries in nursing and healthcare occupations include:
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs (also called “ruptured discs” or “slipped discs”)
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and strains, which are common examples of soft tissue injuries
- Torn ligaments
Workers’ Compensation for Nurses with Back Injuries from Lifting Patients
All types of nurses are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits under state laws in North Carolina, including but not limited to:
- Certified nursing assistants
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Licensed practical nurses
- Neonatal nurses
- Pain management nurses
- Psychiatric nurse practitioners
- Registered nurses
Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, a Workers’ Compensation claim does not require the worker to demonstrate fault or negligence in order to receive compensation. However, individuals who file for workers’ comp are generally prohibited from suing their employers. Our attorneys will examine your work injury case from every angle and pursue the appropriate course of action.
Workers’ Compensation is available for employees who are injured in the course and scope of employment, meaning employees who are injured while performing job-related duties (such as lifting or transferring a patient). This applies not only to new injuries, but to preexisting injuries that are aggravated by a work injury. For example, if a nurse already has an underlying back problem, which is then aggravated by lifting a patient, workers’ compensation benefits may be available.
Unfortunately, there is a risk that your claim may be denied by your employer or the Workers’ Compensation insurance provider. However, a claim denial is not necessarily the final step of the process. If your workman’s comp claim is denied, the attorneys of the Ramsay Law Firm can investigate the reasons for the denial and file an appeal on your behalf, requesting a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees workman’s comp disputes. If your claim is rejected by the insurance company, you will receive a written document titled Form 61 (Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim), which should provide you with a detailed and specific explanation for the denial.
How Much Workman’s Comp Can I Get?
Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited by state laws, which update the limits each year to account for inflation. The maximum Workers’ Compensation payment in North Carolina is 66.6% of the worker’s “average weekly wage,” to be capped at $992 per week in 2019. For instance, if your average weekly wage was $800 before your back injury, you could receive a weekly benefit of up to approximately $533. The 2019 weekly maximum has been raised to $1,028.00.
Charlotte, NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers for Nurses with Patient Lifting Injuries
At the Ramsay Law Firm, we take pride in representing the hard-working men and women of Charlotte, NC. Your case will be personally reviewed by an experienced attorney – not an assistant or paralegal. We are here to help you secure the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive. If your employer is not complying with Workers’ Compensation laws, we will investigate and uphold your rights.
When nurses get injured, we’re here to help. To arrange a free legal consultation with the patient lifting injury lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm, contact our law offices online, or call (704) 376-1616.