Injured Nurses at Carilion Clinic: Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you were injured as a nurse at Carilion Clinic, it’s important to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you succeed in your compensation claim. This is true whether you’re a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Carilion Clinic is a not-for-profit network of hospitals across the Roanoke Valley. It is the largest employer in Roanoke, Virginia, with more than 14,000 employees as of 2022. By law, this organization must provide workers’ compensation coverage for its employees, but in reality, pursuing this compensation may not be so simple for injured nurses.
As a nurse hurt on the job, you may encounter unique obstacles in your workers’ comp claim. Below is a brief overview of what to expect. For legal help specific to your circumstances, talk to trusted workers’ comp attorney Jaleh K. Slominski.
Challenges in a Nurse Workers’ Comp Claim
Injured RNs and CNAs in Virginia have the right to claim compensation if their injury occurred at work. Yet many of them find it extremely difficult to obtain the benefits they deserve. If you’re a nurse seeking injury compensation, be prepared for these workers’ comp challenges:
Employers may say the injury is an occupational hazard.
Some companies try to discourage injured workers from claiming, by telling them they accepted the inherent risks of the job. In health care, nurses are highly exposed to illnesses and physical exertion. Their superiors may tell them that their injury is merely part of the job and not enough grounds for a claim.
In truth, even if you got hurt by a known job hazard, you may still be able to file for worker’s compensation. You can expect, however, that your employer or their insurance company will find ways to discredit your claim.
Insurance companies may dispute the injury being job-related.
Insurance adjusters often try to assert that a worker’s injury occurred outside of their occupation and is therefore not eligible for workers’ comp. For example, if a nurse suffers back pain from lifting a patient, the adjuster may allege that something else caused the injury or that it’s a pre-existing condition.
To defend your claim from this insurance tactic, it’s crucial to have an experienced workers’ comp attorney on your side.
You’ll need to prove your injury is compensable.
Many nurses wonder if their injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation. For instance, can a nurse be compensated for knee strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or an infectious disease?
In Virginia, some injuries and diseases fall into a gray area as to whether or not they’re compensable. The main criterion is that the condition should have arisen out of and in the course of the job. You’ll need to build a convincing case to prove that you meet this standard. Attorney Slominski has effectively handled numerous cases like this and is eager to help you with yours.
What Nurse Injuries and Diseases are Covered by Virginia Workers’ Comp?
Virginia workers’ compensation covers injuries and diseases that arise “out of and in the course of employment.” This means the condition occurred due to the nature of the work and during the performance of the work. Here are examples of nurse injuries and diseases that may be compensable:
- Back injuries – herniated discs, strains, and the like
- Fractures – from slipping, falling, or similar work accidents
- COVID-19 infection – Virginia specifies this in a law passed in 2021
- Knee injuries – sprains, torn meniscus, and more
- Respiratory illnesses
- Communicable blood diseases
- Skin conditions from substance exposure.
As you can see, the injuries and diseases that are covered don’t necessarily have to come from sudden accidents. A developed illness may also be compensable if you can prove that it is an occupational disease. Enlist a skilled and experienced lawyer to help you establish this.
Workers’ Comp Benefits for Nurses in Virginia
Workers’ comp benefits in Virginia, including those for nurses, include both medical benefits and wage-loss benefits.
Medical benefits cover various medical costs related to the injury. Examples are doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, hospitalization, medication, prostheses, physical therapy, and more. Medical benefits last a lifetime, so they will cover any medical expense you may have in the future related to this particular job injury.
Meanwhile, wage-loss benefits compensate for the income you’ve missed and may continue to miss due to your injury. The amount and duration of this benefit depend on the type of impairment you have and whether you’re disabled temporarily or permanently.
How to File for Nurse Worker’s Compensation – Carilion Clinic
These are the steps to follow for claiming workers’ compensation after your injury at Carilion Clinic:
- Seek medical care. Many injuries demand emergency medical treatment, but some feel minor and dismissible. Even if you feel like you can walk off your injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Delaying medical care may damage your compensation claim, as it signals that your injury isn’t as serious as you say.
- Report your injury. Approach your manager, supervisor, or HR officer to make a written injury report. By law, you have 30 days to notify your employer, but it’s best to act right away to signify that your injury is genuine. After filing your report, ask for a receipt and keep it.
- File a claim with the Commission. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission is the office managing all workers’ comp claims in the state. To officially initiate your claim, fill out their Claim Form and file it in person or online (more details here).
- Gather evidence. Document as much as you can regarding your injury. Take photos of your physical state as well as the site of the accident, if applicable. Keep all medical records, disability slips, medical bills, and related receipts. Also get copies of your work log or timesheet around the time the injury occurred.
- Consult with a lawyer. Even if you feel confident about your claim, a legal consultation can be extremely valuable. It can give you clarity on your case and guide you on your best next steps. Your consultation with Slominski Law is free and confidential, so you risk nothing by speaking with us.
Handling Nurse Injuries at Carilion Clinic Locations
At Slominski Law, we tenaciously represent nurses and other health care workers trying to get properly compensated for their injuries. If you’re one of Carilion Clinic’s 2,467 direct care nurses, or if you’re among their 14,047 employees, we can help you with your injury compensation claim. We welcome workers from these Carilion locations:
- Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
- Carilion New River Valley Medical Center
- Carilion Children’s Hospital
- Carilion Clinic Saint Albans Hospital
- Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital
- Carilion Giles Community Hospital
- Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital
- Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital
- Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital
- Other practice sites under the Carilion Clinic umbrella.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the law firm of Attorney Jaleh K. Slominski. She is a go-to workers’ comp lawyer who, for the last 25 years, has enabled many health care workers to receive their rightful benefits. We’ll provide a free and confidential consultation. Call us at (540) 554-3762 today.