Airline pilots have one of the most dangerous jobs in the workforce. Often these are positions that are coveted and high paying, and they carry a great deal of responsibility to others. Pilots must remain very vigilant on the job, and they face numerous health risks specific to being a pilot, including dehydration, skin cancer, and deep vein thrombosis. They may also suffer stress-related health concerns like insomnia. Often, injured pilots are new pilots in their first, second, or third year of employment. If you are a pilot who has suffered a work-related injury, an experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorney can go over your legal options with you.Injured Pilots
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an analysis of lost workdays in workers' compensation claims revealed that sprains and strains accounted for 38% of the total injuries to pilots. Fractures accounted for 15% of disabling injuries for pilots. Other disabling injuries included amputations, heat burns, abrasions, and occupational diseases.
There are numerous sources of injury for pilots. These include overexertion, falls, air pressure, contact with aircraft, inattention, fatigue, haste, and bad lighting. There are also occupational and stress-related illnesses that pilots may suffer. Fatigue and stress can make pilots more prone to accidents.Benefits
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act is a system that is meant to allow pilots injured on the job to obtain benefits for their medical bills and lost wages. It is a no-fault system, meaning that a pilot should be able to recover workers' compensation benefits even if she is partially or fully responsible for her own injuries. Benefits that may be obtained can include coverage for emergency room care, doctors' visits, medication, medical equipment, and any reasonably necessary surgeries. Other workers' compensation benefits can include temporary partial or total disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent partial or total disability benefits.
Death benefits may be available to the family of a pilot who has died on the job. Family members that may be entitled to death benefits include a spouse, children under 18, children under 25 if enrolled full-time in an accredited educational institution, and children of any age that have mental or physical incapacities. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine the extent of benefits that may be available in your case.Choosing a Provider
Your employer can require that you go get examined by a doctor of the employer's choosing for purposes of evaluating your injuries. The employer is required to pay for the exam, and it should be conducted at a reasonable time and place. The doctor conducting the exam can examine you, but you don't have to accept treatment from that physician. Often employers ask injured employees to use a preferred provider network and they may ask you to choose your provider from the network for the injuries related to your work as a pilot. You have two choices available to you if you use the employer's preferred provider network. However, each of the two choices can include referrals from the doctor that you chose. If you, for example, visit your family care physician, and she refers you to a neurosurgeon for a head injury, this referral is part of the first choice.
On the other hand, if you decide not to choose someone from the preferred provider network, you'll only have one choice including the referral of the doctor who you have chosen. Emergency care for a pilot injury doesn't count as one of the choices.Chicago Attorneys Helping Employees Bring Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you are an injured pilot in Chicago, a workers' compensation lawyer can help you determine how to protect your rights while seeking treatment for your injury. While your injuries may seem obviously connected to your job, insurers are sometimes more concerned with protecting their bottom line than fulfilling their obligation to pay benefits. Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca represents injured pilots in communities including Springfield, Aurora, Rockford, Quincy, and Champaign as well as Kane, Champaign, Winnebago, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online for a free consultation.