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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Fatal Work Injuries in the Airline Industry

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Chicago Employees

Working in the airline industry can be dangerous. Some injuries may be fatal. If you are the survivor of an employee who suffered fatal work injuries in the airline industry, you may be eligible for survivors’ benefits. A dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can help you assess your legal rights and options.

Fatal Work Injuries in the Airline Industry

Employees of an airline may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. Certain family members of employees are eligible for survivors’ benefits in case the employee is killed on the job in the airline industry. These family members include a decedent’s spouse, child under 18-years-old, child under 25-years-old if that child is enrolled full time in an accredited school, and a child of any age if that child is incapacitated. Sometimes if a worker doesn’t have a spouse or child, others in the family may be eligible for benefits, including parents or grandchildren or siblings who were at least 50% dependent on an employee when he or she died.

For example, if a baggage handler becomes the victim of a fatal vehicle accident while working on the tarmac, the baggage handler’s family may be eligible for death benefits. Likewise, if your spouse was a flight attendant who died in a plane crash while on the job, you may be entitled to death benefits.


One of the survivors’ benefits that may be available is coverage for funeral and burial expenses up to a certain cap. Additionally, beneficiaries may be able to get a percentage of the decedent’s weekly wages as compensation for wages lost because of the fatal workplace accident. Illinois provides for a wage replacement benefit of about 2/3 of the employee’s gross average weekly wage in the 52-week period prior to the work fatality. Death benefits are limited by particular maximum and minimum limits, and are paid for either 25 years or up to $500,000, whichever is greater. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you estimate the extent of benefits you may be eligible for.

Death benefits will often need to be shared between a worker’s spouse and eligible children. They continue to be paid until the spouse dies or until the youngest children reaches age 18 or 25 where the child is enrolled full time in school. When a child is mentally or physically incapacitated, the benefits continue so long as incapacitation continues.

Sometimes spouses remarry after the deaths of workers. In the case of remarriage, benefits only continue to be paid where there are eligible minor children to receive them at the time of the spouse’s remarriage. When there aren’t eligible children at the time of remarriage, a spouse only gets a final lump sum payment. This is equal to 2 years of death benefits. The future benefits that otherwise would have been received are terminated.

Filing a Claim

After an airline worker suffers fatal work injuries, family members can file an Application for Adjustment of Claim. You only have the later of three years from the worker’s death or two years after the last benefit paid to the worker to file this Application.

Hire a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Chicago

The circumstances that contribute to a work fatality in Chicago may lead to not only death benefits, but also rights to pursue compensation from negligent third parties. Where a third party (other than the employer) is to blame for a worker’s death, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death claim. If you have been impacted by fatal work injuries in the airline industry, you can consult a skillful workers’ compensation attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent workers in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Adams, Cook, and Kane Counties. We look carefully the circumstances that have led to our clients’ injuries to evaluate out whether they can bring a third party lawsuit or file for SSDI benefits in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or via our online form.