Correction Officers' Injuries
Corrections officers across the country are at tremendous risk of nonfatal work-related injuries. Around half a million officers supervise over 2 million inmates and face various risks. Injuries are inflicted in many cases by assaults and violent acts. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act does not cover officers within Chicago, but you may be eligible for benefits as a corrections officer who works outside the city. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we have more than 60 years of experience fighting for workers who’ve suffered because of significant and disabling job-related injuries. Our seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers represent correction officers outside Chicago.Corrections Officers’ Injuries Outside Chicago
Thousands of emergency departments are faced with severe correction officer injuries, including broken bones, fractures, contusions, paralysis, brain damage, and organ damage. In some cases, these job-related injuries are fatal. Corrections officers face risks of acute injuries, but they also face risks of chronic injuries. For instance, one common repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which develops because of routine tasks at a prison, or foot and leg injuries from the amount of standing and walking involved in performing the job.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that most employees outside Chicago are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when injured in a job-related accident. Death benefits are available to certain family members whose loved ones died on the job or suffered a work-related fatality. Under Illinois law, work does not have to be the only cause of the law; the question is whether your job could have contributed to the injury. Workers’ compensation also covers prior injuries that are exacerbated by the job. For example, if you had a preexisting disc herniation but then suffered a disc rupture while transporting inmates, you could recover benefits so long as our lawyers could show that your job exacerbated the disc injury.
The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act allows you to obtain benefits for a work-related illness. Diseases are found to arise out of the job when there is a rational, causal relationship between work conditions and occupational disease. For example, develop COVID-19 due to your work as a corrections officer. You may be eligible for benefits to address the illness, including time off work, disability benefits, and reasonably necessary medical expenses.Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Corrections Officers’ Injuries
It is important to give your employer notice of your work-related injuries within 45 days. While the law allows this notice to be spoken rather than written, it is wise to give written notice so that your employer can’t claim it didn’t know about your injuries. You could be barred from recovering benefits if you haven’t given notice.
The nature of these injuries will determine the type and quantity of benefits to which you’re entitled. In Illinois, workers’ compensation benefits may include medical benefits, disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and death benefits. You’re entitled to have your employer’s insurer reimburse any reasonably necessary medical care you undergo. For example, if you suffer complex fractures that require surgery, you may be entitled to have your surgery paid for by your employer’s insurer. For another example, if you’re left permanently disabled by an attack by an inmate and can no longer work as a corrections officer but could do a desk job if trained, our lawyers may be able to secure vocational rehabilitation benefits for you.
Disability benefits make up for a portion of wages lost due to a job-related disability. These benefits can be temporary or permanent and partial or total. They may be paid until you can return to a job available to you. In some cases, corrections officers are temporarily disabled and then able to return to work with some restrictions.
Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for exercising your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act or the Occupational Diseases Act.Consult a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Suppose you are a corrections officer injured on the job, or you’re the loved one of a corrections officer who was killed. In that case, you should consult an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer about your claim. We represent corrections officers in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.