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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Airline Workers With Permanent and Total Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers for Severe Workplace Injuries

The airline industry is among the most dangerous in the economy. Injuries to airline workers can happen anywhere on the job, including on the tarmac, in the air, on the plane, or in the terminal. If you are an airline worker with permanent and total disabilities, it is advisable to consult an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. While Illinois has generous workers’ compensation laws, some insurers take a skeptical stance towards permanent disabilities and may deny even valid claims.

Airline Workers With Permanent and Total Disabilities

Many different tasks can result in serious injuries that leave a worker disabled. These tasks can include handling uneven loads, handling oddly shaped bags, mechanical errors, bending and twisting to deal with luggage, moving disabled passengers, in-flight turbulence, cleaning the plane for the next group of passengers, being hit by a vehicle or equipment, and slippery pavement. If an accident leaves you permanently and totally disabled, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

You can file a claim for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits if your airline work injury happens in Illinois, your contract for hire occurred in Illinois, or the airline employer’s principal place of business is in Illinois. Usually, if you’re based in Chicago, you’ll pursue Illinois workers’ compensation even if you live in a different state.

Determining Permanent Disability

Sometimes work injuries are such that an employee only applies for temporary total disability hoping that he or she will one day go back to work. When an injury is so severe that a worker cannot go back to work, it may be possible to obtain permanent total disability benefits. Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, you’re considered permanently totally disabled if you’ve permanently and completely lost use of both your hands, both your arms, both your feet, both your legs, both your eyes, or any two of these parts. Alternately, you can be considered permanently totally disabled if you have a complete disability that leaves you permanently unable to do any kind of work for which there’s a reasonably stable employment market. One factor in determining disability is the use of the American Medical Association (AMA) listing of impairments. Generally, the AMA guidelines aren’t favorable to injured workers’ disability awards and settlements.

If you have a permanent and total disability, you can qualify for lifetime benefits. This is 2/3 of your average weekly wage, subject to caps that are reviewed every six months. If you do return to work or become able to go back to work, the weekly permanent total disability benefits will be modified.


Within 45 days of the work accident that leaves you disabled, you need to notify the airline employer of your injury. In most cases, if an injury is reported several days after it occurs, the claim stands a chance of being denied based on credibility. Therefore, if you’ve suffered the kinds of serious injuries that could result in permanent and total disabilities, you should report the injuries to your employer in writing.

Medical Treatment

You can seek medical treatment for your disabling injuries from two doctors within your employer’s network. You can also receive care from any doctor that the doctor you chose refers you to, as well as any doctor to whom you’re subsequently referred.

Sometimes it is also possible to file for Social Security Disability benefits if you are permanently and totally disabled. However, the Social Security Administration can claim against part of your workers’ compensation settlement. Accordingly, it is often best to talk to a lawyer about how to proceed as soon as possible after suffering a work-related injury.

Dedicated Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you are an airline worker with permanent and total disabilities, the tenacious Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can potentially help you assert your rights. We represent injured airline workers in Springfield, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Adams, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Please call us at 312-724-5846 or contact us online for a free consultation.