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Equipment Accidents in the Airline Industry

Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation Claims in Chicago

Equipment accidents in the airline industry can refer to work injuries involving the equipment that allows an aircraft to fly or the equipment within the aircraft. When equipment fails inside an aircraft or on it, the result can be significant injuries not only to passengers, but also those who work on the aircraft. A failure or malfunction of aircraft equipment that causes injury can be the basis of a product liability or other third party lawsuit. However, those who work for an airline can make a claim against the airline’s workers’ compensation insurance. If you were harmed on the job by an equipment accident in the airline industry, a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you assert your legal rights.

Equipment Accidents in the Airline Industry

Many equipment accidents are caused by human factors such as negligence or errors in maintenance or failure to follow protocol. Often maintenance operations on an aircraft are affected by human misperception of danger, fatigue and stress, time pressure, inadequate skills, or lack of motivation. Sometimes equipment accidents involve aircraft collisions with other planes, baggage carts, service trucks driven by employees, or bridges while on the ground. If you are an airline worker who was injured in Illinois as a result of an equipment accident, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are supposed to buy workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees. The insurer funds the benefits payment in case an employee is injured on the job. When there is a dispute over what should be paid, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will administrate and enforce the law. Appeals can be taken to the judicial system after the administrative process has been exhausted.

Benefits for Equipment Accidents

Benefits that may be available if you were injured in an equipment accident include medical benefits, temporary partial or total disability benefits, permanent partial or total disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Death benefits would be available to survivors of an airline worker who was killed in an equipment accident. For example, if your husband was hit by a piece of equipment while loading bags on the runway and died, you would be able to obtain death benefits such as the funeral and burial costs.

Disability benefits are calculated in different ways depending on the type of benefit. For example, if you are permanently disabled, your permanent disability benefits could be paid by calculating 66 2/3% of the difference in your wages before and after the injury, but they could also be paid according to the schedule of injuries. The schedule of injuries provides for the number of weeks of payment you’d be entitled to for different kinds of injuries. Those who are disfigured by an equipment accident may be able to get a maximum of 162 weeks of benefits paid at 60% of average weekly wages.

If you were injured at your airline industry job due to an equipment accident at work, you should let your employer know right away and certainly within 45 days of the equipment accident. Delaying beyond this period can result in the loss of workers’ compensation benefits. It is wise to put this notification in writing to management. It’s not required, but it refutes any claim by your employer that it didn’t know about the injuries.

You may need to choose your medical provider from the preferred provider network approved by the employer, and it’s important to discuss that with your employer. You should give the name and address of your chosen health care provider to your employer. You should let your doctor know the treatment is for a condition arising out of work-related accident and follow any medical advice you receive.

Consult a Skillful Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

Although the workers’ compensation system was designed to make it easier to obtain remedies for injuries, in practice, it can be a difficult system to navigate. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured airline workers in cities including Chicago, Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Kane County, Sangamon County, Cook County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We can also determine whether you should use other avenues of relief. Contact us toll-free at 312-724-5846 or via our online form.