Initial Claims for Injured Airline Workers
As an airline worker, if you become sick or injured due to an airplane crash, turbulence, or because of another work-related condition, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You can recover workers’ compensation benefits irrespective of fault. However, the workers’ compensation process can be complex, especially for airline employees who travel as part of their job. If you are concerned about your initial claim as an injured airline worker, you can consult a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.Initial Claims for Injured Airline Workers
There are many reasons an airline worker may suffer job-related injuries or death. Injuries can be the result of poor weather conditions, improper maintenance, pilot error, design flaws, slippery or uneven surfaces, equipment failures, negligence by an air traffic controller, or violations of FAA regulations. Injuries that may be suffered in an airline accident include fractures, back injuries, burns, repetitive stress injuries, lacerations, spinal cord damage, or broken bones.
In order for you to obtain Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, your work-related injury must have been incurred in Illinois, you must have been hired in Illinois, or your work must be principally located in Illinois. In other words, if you work for an airline that isn’t principally located in Illinois, you can still file for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois if you were injured during a layover. For example, if you are in a Chicago airport during a layover and slip and fall in the airport bathroom and break your kneecap, you may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois.Filing a Claim
Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you can’t sue your employer for injuries suffered on the job, even if the employer’s negligence caused your injuries. However, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, and you do not need to establish fault to recover these benefits. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer does not have a legal obligation to help you or let you know that what you say to them can adversely affect your ability to obtain benefits. It is therefore wise to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before you talk to a workers’ compensation insurer.
You need to give notice of your accident in writing to a supervisor or manager within 45 days of the accident. It is wise to retain a copy of any completed accident report you provide to the employer. If you fail to give notice within 45 days, your claim may be in jeopardy.
Generally, you should file an Application for Adjustment of Claims with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within 3 years of the date of the accident. It is wise to file this application even if you are receiving benefits from the airline’s insurer; having your claim on file can speed up resolution of a dispute between you and the airline should one arise down the road. If you don’t file the Application for Adjustment of Claim within this period, you might lose your rights and benefits.Retain a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
Often the claims arising out of airline accidents are complicated. It may be important to figure out whether there is a third party who is responsible for your workplace injuries. Illinois ground crew such as office workers, baggage handlers, and gate agents may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, under certain circumstances, airline employees who live out of state may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois. If you are concerned about initial claims for injured airline workers in Chicago, you can consult Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers represent airline workers in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, and Rockford, and across Sangamon, Kane, Cook, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. We can examine your situation to determine what relief you may be eligible for. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.