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Initial Claims for State Troopers and Police Officers

Chicago Lawyers for Law Enforcement Injuries

You may assume that your employer values your service and recognizes the physical and emotional danger you face in the line of duty as a state trooper or police officer. Unfortunately, insurers sometimes deny valid initial claims for state troopers and police officers. If you suffered a work-related injury, call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to discuss your case and the claim process. We may be able to help.

Initial Claims for State Troopers and Police Officers

State troopers and police officers risk catastrophic injury or death on a regular basis. Law enforcement can be highly demanding. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, most employees injured at work are eligible for benefits regardless of fault. Because the Act does not provide an entitlement to benefits for police officers that work in any Illinois city with more than 500,000 people, Chicago police officers must seek compensation through separate remedies.

If you work for a different municipality or as a state trooper, you are entitled to benefits for your work-related injuries under the Act. You’ll need to show you sustained injuries on the job or while performing a job-related task. For example, if you work for a police department outside of Chicago and were wounded and paralyzed by a suspect during a pursuit, you should be able to obtain medical benefits for your gunshot wounds and PTSD. These medical benefits should cover all your reasonable and necessary medical care. Moreover, if you’re unable to work for more than three days, you will be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits. If you’re permanently disabled, or have to take a lower paying position, you may be able to obtain permanent total or partial disability benefits.

Application for Adjustment of Claim

Your workers’ compensation claim will be overseen by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, the first step is to notify your employer of your injuries within 45 days. It’s best not to assume your employer knows about your injuries, even if you were hurt in the line of duty. You should provide notice in writing and take care to state what happened accurately and truthfully. Your employer should notify its workers’ compensation insurance carrier who should then accept or deny your claim in writing.

You have three years to file an Application for Adjustment of Claims with the Commission, but it’s smart to file one even if you’re already receiving benefits. Sometimes, disputes arise down the road about claim coverage, the payment of particular benefits, or the proper calculation of benefits. You may already rely on payments and find yourself scrambling if the insurer modifies or terminates payment. Keeping an Application on file allows your claim to be handled more quickly if a dispute should develop.

The Commission will send you an initial notice of hearing that specifies the date of a status hearing and the arbitrator who will hear your case. There are periodic status hearings after that initial hearing, but unless either you or the insurer asks for a trial to resolve a dispute, your lawyer may appear for you. If a dispute arises and either you or the insurer asks for resolution, you can ask an arbitrator hear it.

Retain a Chicago Attorney

Initial claims for state troopers and police officers start the process for obtaining benefits under the workers’ compensation system. You should talk to the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent law enforcement officers with workers’ compensation claims in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, 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.