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Marc
Marc, Attorney at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 122
Experience:  Experienced Attorney
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I was injured at work. I can still work per my doctor unless

Customer Question

I was injured at work. I can still work per my doctor unless pain is too intense. I have 12 fractured vertebrae . I can't afford to go on workmans comp because they only pay 70% of a 36 hour week. I normally work at least 60 hours with overtime and shift differential . I just built a house last year and I am a widow so it is just me. I am 54 years old. I am worried that I might not recover fully and the pain I put myself through to work is almost unbearable. I spend my breaks and lunch time in the bathroom crying. I can not take narcotic pain medication at work because I am a nurse. As soon as I clock out everyday I immediatly take my pain medication and again before I go to bed. I wake up in the middle of the night to take pain medication for the last time before I have to get up and go to work. Do I have any legal recourse with my job? I also don't want to lose my job. If I recover I would like to continue to work, but right now the pain is more than I can handle.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I can not take pain medication at wor. I work for a hospital. I am a nurse.
Expert:  Marc replied 1 month ago.
Hello. My name is***** am a licensed attorney and I will be happy to assist you today. I'm very sorry for all the pain and anxiety you are going through. I can't even imagine how you are able to work with such injuries! You clearly are a strong and brave woman.Unfortunately, however ever unfair it may seem, your options may be limited. I understand that workers comp would pay you much less than you earn - especially given all the overtime you put in. And suing the hospital is not an option, since workers comp law precludes such suits by employees under most circumstances.However, perhaps there are other parties other than the hospital that could conceivably be responsible for your work-related injuries? Even partially responsible? Were you injured by a piece of equipment? Did you slip on a wet floor? Most hospitals outsource their maintenance and other major operations to outside vendors. If your accident/injury was in any way caused as a result of their negligence, you would be able to sue them even if you get workers comp benefits.Alternatively, you could sue the hospital if you are suffering a "grave" injury. That include all kinds of gory injuries, like permanent disfigurement, loss of a body part and brain damage. But it also includes loss of use of a body part and other major injuries that make it impossible for a person to work. Having suffered 12 fractured vertebrae, and based on your description of the pain, you may be able to sue the hospital after all.I can imagine that none of this is bringing you any solace so far, since suing your employer (or anyone) probably is not appealing at all. Other than that, however, there is likely no other way to maintain your present level of income and still get the recovery time and treatment you so sorely need unless you have additional disability insurance.It seems clear that you badly need to take time off to recover and that if you don't, your injury will likely get worse and worse until you cannot even make it to work. Your health, therefore, is the one and only priority, since everything else - like your new house - will suffer anyway if you become more disabled.Perhaps the hospital will let you take time off with full pay (without overtime) if you ask. It should be clear to the hospital that the alternative is that you would go out on workers comp (which the hospital pays for anyway through its insurance premiums). You should make all necessary inquiries through your human resources administration.It is also advisable to consult with a local attorney who can evaluate your circumstances fully and determine if there is any recourse through litigation, as discussed above. It would not cost you anything for a consultation, and most such attorneys only get paid if/when you settle or win your case. Such an attorney should also be able to help you navigate financial issues by, for example, negotiating with your creditors.I know you want to keep working. But all indications are that you must take a break for now. The alternative is that you will not recover or, even worse - your condition will deteriorate.I regret that I cannot say anything to reduce your pain. But I hope I have at least provided some useful information to help you better understand your issues and options. If so, please be sure to rate my answer, since that is the only way I can receive credit.Wishing you a speedy recover,
Marc