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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in the Airline Industry

Lawyers for Injured Workers in Chicago

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a chronic pain condition that manifests as lasting pain in a leg or arm. It can appear after a stroke, injury, or heart attack. The severity of pain is usually worse than the original injury. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy can also follow trauma to the extremities; it can arise after a fracture, sprain, brain injuries, or damage to nerves or blood vessels. It is considered a form of complex regional pain syndrome. If you have experienced reflex sympathetic dystrophy in the airline industry, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. A skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process for making a claim.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in the Airline Industry

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a chronic condition that involves substantial burning pain, and sometimes changes in skin temperature or skin texture, tremendous sweating, tissue swelling and sensitivity to touch, and even motor disability. Often this condition is kicked off with tissue injuries where no underlying nerve damage exists. A critical symptom of reflex sympathetic dystrophy is intense, chronic pain that is disproportionate to serious injuries and that worsens over time rather than improves. It can impact the feet, hands, legs, or arms. Some researchers think the condition arises due to malfunctioning of the sympathetic nervous system.

It can be very challenging for an airline worker to obtain workers’ compensation benefits when reflex sympathetic dystrophy develops in connection with injuries. You don’t need to have a catastrophic injury to develop reflex sympathetic dystrophy. A minor injury can trigger it. The condition can be the result of trauma to a particular limb, but it can also arise in connection with an injury occurring elsewhere on the body in connection with which the pain spreads. Because the pain connected to reflex sympathetic dystrophy may seem disproportionate to the seriousness of the injuries that were inflicted at work, an insurer may deny benefits to a worker suffering from reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Symptoms can worsen over time with this condition. Permanent changes can occur to blood vessels, skin, bone, and musculature. This is one of the reasons it’s important to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible if you receive a denial in connection with your workers’ compensation claim for benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

When signs and symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy arising out of airline industry workplace injuries are recognized within a few months of developing, the odds of improving increase. Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated system that was designed to make it easier for workers to obtain wage replacement and compensation to cover their medical bills when they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, in practice, it can be challenging to actually obtain the benefits you need. Insurers are motivated by profit, and if an injury’s relationship to work is not clear, as reflex sympathetic dystrophy may not be, an insurer may deny a valid and legitimate claim.

In Illinois, an employee with a work-related injury or occupational illness is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits irrespective of fault for the injury or illness. You are not supposed to be taxed on these benefits. There are exceptions, such as where the reflex sympathetic dystrophy arises in connection with you perpetrating a serious crime.

Benefits that may be available include physical rehabilitation costs, medical expenses, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. The disability benefits will vary depending on the extent and severity of the work-related injuries. You may be able to get temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, or temporary partial permanent disability benefits. For example, if you suffered fractures as a flight attendant, and then developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy such that you could not work for a year, you may be able to get temporary total disability benefits that equal 2/3 of your average gross weekly wage.

Consult a Skillful Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Chicago

If you have suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy due to an injury in your Chicago airline industry workplace, you can talk to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we handle workers’ compensation claims for airline workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Sangamon, Adams, Cook and Kane Counties. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or by completing our online form.