Lifting Injuries on American Airlines

Chicago Lawyers Helping Workers Hurt on the Job

In some of the most dramatic accidents associated with major airlines, flames have taken over portions of airplanes. However, more commonly, accidents occur in which employees suffer lifting injuries and other job-related physical harm while working for large companies such as American Airlines. These are injuries that can make it very difficult to work and continue to earn a living, and they often necessitate various treatments. The knowledgeable Chicago workers' compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck are well-versed in the Illinois benefits system for injured workers, and can help you pursue the coverage you need.

Lifting Injuries on American Airlines

Those who work on airlines are endangered by the particular risks associated with flights. Among these risks is that of suffering lifting injuries to the back or shoulder. These types of injuries can temporarily or permanently incapacitate workers. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act was put in place to make it more straightforward for workers to obtain medical, disability, and other benefits than it is when suing for personal injuries in civil court. Although this was the intention in designing the workers' compensation system, in practice can still be very difficult to recover benefits through this system. Sometimes insurers do not want to pay benefits, and they may issue erroneous or flawed denials of benefits.

Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Worker’s compensation benefits are awarded in a different manner than the way in which damages may be awarded in an injury lawsuit, and a skilled work injury lawyer can help you make your claim. For example, if you lifted a passenger's bag inappropriately so that you could get it into an overhead bin, and as a result you herniated a disc, your compensation wouldn't be reduced as a result the way it would in an injury lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, the jury would examine evidence and assign percentages of fault. Workers' compensation benefits are awarded mostly regardless of fault. You might assume that if an airplane full of people saw you get injured, you'd be able to recover compensation. But even when there are many witnesses, there may be challenges in getting these benefits.

For example, you may get a denial that says you're being denied because you have a pre-existing injury. You may be able to challenge this denial. A pre-existing condition is not a valid bar to recovering benefits — you're still entitled to benefits even if a work-related lifting injury aggravated your pre-existing condition. For example, even if you have a herniated disc, if your disc ruptures due to aggravation while lifting a passenger's bag, you can potentially get workers' compensation for the disc rupturing because it is an aggravation of your earlier condition.

Medical Treatment in the Workers’ Compensation System

Under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, a workers' compensation insurer is supposed to pay your medical bills. These can include bills you get from the emergency room, regular doctor's visits and treatment, surgeries, medical equipment, medication, and therapy. Illinois employers often elect a preferred provider network and you will be required to choose a provider that is in-network. It is possible to choose an out-of-network doctor, but then you can only choose that provider once. Ordinarily, you can choose an in-network provider twice. Your chosen doctor's referral for a lifting injury will count as one choice. Emergency care should be sought right away for serious lifting injuries on American Airlines or with another employer, since they do not count as one of the two choices.

Workers may be worried about the neutrality of the doctors they choose. You should only choose doctors that you think will put your best interests first, but your employer is entitled to have you examined by the doctor of its choice. The employer is supposed to pay for this visit and you are supposed to be reimbursed for your medical mileage. You can choose not to receive treatment for your lifting injuries from that doctor.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Chicago

If you have suffered work-related lifting injuries on American Airlines in the Chicago area, an experienced injury lawyer can help you understand your options. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent accident victims in areas including Champaign, Aurora, Quincy, Rockford, and Springfield, as well as Cook, Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, Champaign, and Kane Counties. Please call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.