I work in the medical field. For the past couple of months having sciatica controlled with motrin. Performed my normal activities and job functions. I helped another nurse pull up a patient while at work and about 10/15 minutes later severe back pain, could not walk and crying. I reported it to the proper person. I got a MRI done which showed a rupture disk. I went to physician next day, said I need surgery. There is a lot of paperwork and it makes a difference if I was injured at work or not for it. When I asked the person for her input, her whole story is changing which makes me think that I need to protect my rights.
Workers Compensation can be both short or long term in nature depending on the injury. In your case, the questions are (1) when did the injury occur and (2) where did it occur? I strongly suggest that you contact an attorney who does workers' compensation representation on the injured party's behalf. You should be able to find some on AVVO's tool, "Find a Lawyer," and you should get a free consultation.
If the injury did not occur at work, you should be covered by your medical care plan and any short term disability plan if you have them.
My response herein is an attempt to give you general information and direction and is not intended to constitute an attorney-client relationship as perceived by state law.
It could be workers' compensation if there is any damage or harm to your body resulting from your work activity. If that work activity made the underlying condition worse, and you can prove that, then it could be workers' comp. If it is really all pre-existing then you would use your health insurance and disability insurance. The cause of the problem is what establishes the answer to your question. You may need to consult both a doctor and a lawyer to determine which way to go.
The kind of back injury you are describing can be very serious with possible long term implications, let alone the major nature of back surgery itself.
I suggest you meet with a local workers' compensation attorney, someone knowledgeable about workers' compensation in your area, and experienced. These are not waters you should be navigating alone.
Most workers' compensation attorneys will not charge for an initial consultation. So you have everything to gain and nothing to lose from meeting with a local workers' compensation lawyer.
Who was the person that you asked? If it was a HR person, they are not qualified to make the medical determination. You need to have a medical professional determine if pulling up the patient was a producing cause of why you now need surgery. If it was, it is a work related injury.
Most of the Texas hospitals are now non-subscribers to the Texas Workers' Compensation system. You need to talk to an attorney in your area to understand your rights and how you should proceed.
Hope your surgery is successful.
I think this is a workers' compensation injury. Section 401.011(26) of the Texas Labor Code state that injury "means damage or harm to the physical structure of the body . . . ." Therefore, the question is whether you sustained damage or harm to the physical structure of your body when you helped your coworker lift the patient. The question is answered by the chronology and the medical evidence. This gets a little trickier because you were already having back pain when you lifted the patient; however, the back pain you experienced after lifting the patient was much more severe than before the lifting of the patient. The important thing to keep in mind with this fact pattern is that an aggravation of a pre-existing injury is a compensable work related injury. However, to prove you had an aggravation of a pre-existing injury will need medical evidence. I would recommend hiring an attorney experienced in Workers' Compensation.
I agree you need to consult with a lawyer. If you are asked to give a statement, speak to an WC attorney first.STD ( Short Term Disability) is income benefits provided for non-work related injuries. If you prove your case is work related, and you have to miss time from work and/or your income is reduced due to your injuries, you would receive workers' comp income benefits called TIBS ( Temporary Income Benefits). Your case could be serious, so you need to determine if your employer is a subscriber to workers' comp or a non subscriber.
The other lawyers have given you good answers. I would just like add a little more information. First, lawyers Rodriguez and Morris are fine lawyers, I am familiar with both. I do not know the others but I am sure they are fine lawyers as well.
As for which benefits to claim, you may be able to collect BOTH; STD and TIBs, depending on a couple of factors. If you paid for the STD yourself, (meaning your employer did not contribute) then you must look to the STD contract to determine whether there is an exclusion or "set-off", allowing the carrier to take a credit, if you are paid WC benefits. You probably need to hire a lawyer to assist you with discovering your correct entitlement. Good luck in pursuit of your claim.
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