City of Chicago Workers With Burn Injuries
Chicago Lawyers Helping Municipal Employees
The City of Chicago is approved to be self-insured for workers’ compensation claims. Accordingly, the City does not pay premiums to an outside insurer for workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Instead, it pays injury claims filed by workers for job-related accidents. City of Chicago workers with burn injuries due to a workplace accident may seek compensation from their employer. You should talk to the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to understand your legal rights. We may be able to help.
City of Chicago Workers With Burn Injuries
Most City of Chicago employees are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. These workers may include those working in sanitation, utilities, transportation, management, communications, emergency management, finance, law, and the public library. The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, in which workers can obtain benefits for work-related injuries even if they were partially or fully to blame for these injuries. The Act doesn’t usually cover City of Chicago police officers or firefighters. However, City of Chicago firefighters may seek compensation under Section 8(c) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act for serious or permanent disfigurement resulting from burns.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Burn Injuries
Burn injuries come in four degrees, with third degree and fourth degree burns being the most serious. A third degree burn may damage underlying tendons, muscles and bones. In some cases, complications, such as infection, cardiac arrest, and shock, may accompany burn injuries. The nature and extent of the burn injuries will determine the types of benefits you can obtain through the workers’ compensation system. In most cases, persons with visible scars or burns on their hands or face are eligible for more compensation than those who suffered a burn on a part of your body that’s not exposed to public view. If the physician had to amputate a limb due to a burn injury, the worker would only receive benefits for the lost limb, not for the skin damage to that area.
Generally, workers’ compensation benefits may include temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, medical expenses, mileage reimbursement, and vocational rehabilitation. If your spouse or child suffered fatal burn injuries while working for the City of Chicago, you may be able to seek death benefits.
The City of Chicago should pay for all your reasonable and necessary medical care. For example, if you were on the job in a building that burned down, you may require emergency care and medical treatment as well as revision surgeries.
The City of Chicago might ask you to undergo an independent medical exam (IME), particularly if your physician has recommended revision surgery or another expensive procedure as part of your treatment. It’s important to realize an IME is not necessarily an objective medical exam; the examiner does not owe you a duty to keep what you say confidential. You should consult with a lawyer if the City disagrees with the treatment plan proposed by your physician.
You should provide written notice to the City of Chicago of your work-related burn injuries within 45 days of suffering them. Although it doesn’t have to be in writing as a legal matter, it’s wise to provide written notice so that you have proof you let the City know a claim was pending against it. You might assume that because there is an incident report, the City of Chicago knows of your burn injuries and will process your claim. However, it’s important to provide specific notice so that the City cannot claim it didn’t know and you are not barred from obtaining benefits you need.
Third Party Liability
Sometimes, a third party may be responsible for your burn injuries. City of Chicago workers with burn injuries that resulted from the negligence of another driver or entity may have grounds to sue for damages in a personal injury, premises liability, or product liability lawsuit. This is important because workers’ compensation benefits do not cover all your losses.
Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
If you’re a City of Chicago worker who sustained burn injuries on the job, you should talk to the seasoned attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents City workers in Aurora, Chicago, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Kane, Adams, Cook, and Winnebago Counties. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or via our online form.