Injuries Caused by Assaults by Passengers
A flight attendant's life can seem glamorous. Unfortunately flight attendants and other crewmembers are exposed to numerous stressful hazards on the job. Assault by passengers is an especially serious concern. Travelers may be anxious or tense. The result can be violence. Flight attendants and crewmembers may suffer serious injuries caused by assaults by passengers. If you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers can help you determine your next steps.Injuries Caused by Assaults by Passengers
Angry passengers are a relatively new threat on flights. Passengers are often stressed or anxious when en route, and may take out their negative emotions on crewmembers and flight attendants. Sometimes they take these emotions out on their fellow passengers, but even then, a flight attendant who tries to intervene may be seriously injured. Sometimes hospital care is necessary after an assault, whether the assault involved a fistfight, kicking, or other violence.Airline Workers Injured on the Job
Flight attendants who are injured in a passenger assault may be eligible for workers' compensation. The injuries arising from an assault can be debilitating. They may require medical care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. The injured flight attendant or crewmember may need to take time off work.
Workers' compensation benefits are available to a worker injured on the job by the assault of a passenger. Your employer is required to buy workers' compensation insurance for employees. If there's a dispute about your benefits, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission enforces the laws and protects your rights, and a skilled work injury lawyer can help you present your claims.
Generally, workers' compensation benefits include the reasonable medical care that is needed to fix or relieve the effects of your injuries. For example, if you have a black eye and a concussion, workers' compensation may take care of your doctor's bills for these injuries. Workers' compensation benefits can also include temporary total or partial disability benefits, permanent and total disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits. These benefits cannot be taxed.Permanent and Temporary Total Disability Benefits
You can receive temporary disability benefits at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage, up to the state maximum. The state maximum is updated every six months. You can only receive temporary disability benefits once you've missed three days of work unless you've missed more than 14 days of work, in which case you can retroactively be paid the first three days of lost income.
More rarely, injuries from an assault are permanently disabling. If this occurs, you may be able to obtain permanent disability benefits that are calculated one of two ways. The first way is by calculating 66 2/3% of the difference in your wages before and after the injuries from the assault. The other way is by looking at a schedule of injuries that provides the number of weeks you should be paid based on the type of injury at issue.After the Assault
If a passenger assaulted you, you should notify your employer in writing immediately, even if you know that your supervisor saw the altercation. It is better for the notice to be in writing, so that it can be used as proof of notice. You will need to notify your employer within 45 days of the assault in order to obtain workers' compensation benefits. If you wait to let your employer know, your benefits will be delayed accordingly, and if you wait more than 45 days, you could lose benefits. The longer you wait, the more likely the insurer will believe that something other than the assault caused your injuries.After You Provide Notice of the Injuries From the Assault
After you've let your employer know that you suffered a work-related injury, your employer should give you a list of medical providers that you are approved to see. It should also let the insurer know to start the claims process.Consult an Experienced Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Chicago
At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago attorneys may be able to represent an airline worker in a workers' compensation claim if he or she has suffered injuries caused by an assault by a passenger. Our firm has helped injured airline workers in Springfield, Aurora, Rockford, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as other communities in Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Winnebago, Champaign, and Adams Counties. We can be reached by calling (312) 263-6330 or toll free at (800) 444-1525, or via our online form.