Injured Baggage Handlers
In the airline industry, baggage handlers are the people who load and unload baggage and other cargo to be transported by aircraft. Some airlines call this person a ramp agent because the people who do these jobs may work on the airport ramp or tarmac. Baggage handlers also work in spaces that are not public, such as the bag room and air freight warehouses. If you are an injured baggage handler, our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to help you obtain benefits.Injured Baggage Handlers
Baggage that's checked at the ticket counter may be put on a moving belt that transports baggage to the bag room to be sorted and eventually loaded onto the correct flight. Baggage handlers may pull bags from the bag room and load it onto the aircraft. They may need to position the aircraft next to the terminal gate, and may also need to tow the aircraft to a different gate.Injuries
Injuries sustained while handling baggage can include musculoskeletal injuries, fractures, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, disc herniation, traumatic brain injury, or even paralysis. Sometimes these injuries are suffered due to a fall from a high working surface, while in other cases a baggage handler may be injured due to being hit by a vehicle.
If you are injured on the job as a baggage handler, you can obtain workers' compensation benefits. This is a system of benefits that covers the medical costs of job-related illnesses and injuries. It's supposed to help most Illinois employees, but in exchange for a system that provides benefits regardless of fault, you generally cannot pursue damages from your employer in court.
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission serves as the administrator for disputes between employees and employers about their claims. You can start to receive workers' compensation coverage when your job begins. It will include medical benefits that entitle you to choose a doctor, get the medical equipment you might need, get lab work or imaging done, purchase medications, and receive therapy.
If you are not able to work, you can get disability benefits to replace your wages. These may take the form of permanent total or partial benefits, temporary total or partial benefits, or vocational rehabilitation. Family members may be able to seek out death benefits including funeral costs for loved ones who have died as a result of work-related injuries. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you pursue the appropriate benefits.Choice of Health Care Provider
A worker can only choose a health care provider twice, not including any emergency care they obtain after being injured. But if you're referred by a doctor you choose, this counts as part of the single choice. And if you don't like the first doctor you saw or the doctor he or she referred you to, you can choose a second doctor from the preferred provider network. For example, if you do not believe your orthopedic surgeon chosen from a preferred provider network is treating your back injuries seriously, you may be able to return to the preferred provider network and select a different doctor.
You can be ordered to have an independent medical examination (IME) done. In the IME, a doctor of the insurer's choosing will examine you to determine the extent of your injuries. You need not be treated by the IME doctor, and it's important to be aware that an IME doctor may have been chosen specifically because he or she takes a very conservative approach to diagnosing and treating injuries.Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you are a baggage handler who was injured on the job in Chicago, you may wish to consider hiring a workers' compensation lawyer. Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca provides skillful legal representation to injured baggage handlers in areas including Springfield, Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as Kane, Winnebago, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.