Lost Wages in the Airline Industry

Chicago Lawyers for Injured Employees

In Illinois, workers injured while performing job duties can be entitled to medical benefits and wage replacement benefits. Injured airline workers are entitled to get 2/3 of their weekly salary or wage for the weeks they’re not able to work because of a job-related injury. These injuries may be new and acute, or they might be exacerbations of pre-existing conditions or the result of repetitive stress. They might involve a flight attendant suffering a fracture due to a turbulence-related fall and developing reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Or, a baggage handler might suffer a ruptured disc while carrying heavy baggage and loading it onto a plane. If you are concerned about lost wages in the airline industry, a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your legal options.

Lost Wages in the Airline Industry

When workplace injuries leave you unable to go back to your job in the airline industry due to temporary or permanent disability, you may be able to collect benefits that partially replace your lost wages. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides no-fault benefits that include wage replacement, also known as disability benefits. That is, you will not need to prove your employer was at fault for your accident, and in most cases, your employer will not be able to get your benefits blocked by showing that you were partially or fully to blame for your accident.

For example, if you are a flight attendant who got up to help a passenger load luggage into an overhead bin and your own carelessness caused the luggage to fall on you, causing you to suffer a broken bone and cartilage injuries that keep you out of work for several months, the employer cannot point to your actions as a reason you shouldn’t get disability benefits. Disability benefits may be temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits. Each is calculated differently, and a knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you project the amount you may be eligible for.

Temporary Total or Partial Disability Benefits

If your injuries disable you temporarily but fully such that your lose wages, you may be able to get temporary total disability benefits. You won’t get these benefits for the first three workdays during which you can’t work unless you eventually get to 14 days of being unable to work, at which point the benefits are paid retroactively. When you reach maximum medical improvement, the temporary total disability benefits will no longer be paid.

The temporary total benefit will be 2/3 of your average weekly wage. However, there are caps based on the state average weekly wage. The cap is updated periodically. Sometimes an airline worker can come back to work to perform light duty or a desk job, or might be able to work part-time in a position that pays less. In that case, she can make 2/3 of the difference between what she could earn before the injury and what she is currently making.

Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability benefits may be available as a type of wage replacement for lost wages if you’re partly disabled permanently. There are different kinds of permanent partial disability benefits for which you could be eligible, and they’re calculated in different ways. They may be unscheduled losses, scheduled losses, wage differential benefits, or disfigurement benefits.

Wage differential awards may be obtained if you suffer wage loss because of a permanent, partial impairment. For example, if you need to stay on permanent desk duty for an airline and that pays less than your prior job on the flight crew, you could get wage differential benefits equivalent to 2/3 of the difference between your average weekly wage prior to the injury and your post-injury earnings. These are paid for five years or until you get to be 67 years old, whichever is later. You can’t get permanent partial impairment benefits if you get wage differential benefits.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If you reach maximum medical improvement and are permanently and completely disabled from working and earning wages, your doctor can evaluate you for a permanent disability benefits to replace your wages. The permanent total disability benefit won’t fully replace your wages. Permanent disabilities are quite serious, and could arise from amputation or loss of vision.

Consult a Skillful Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If your workplace injuries have left you with lost wages in the airline industry, you can consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Chicago. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent injured airline workers in Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, and Champaign, as well as Winnebago, Sangamon, Adams, Cook and Kane Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.