Lost Wages for Injured Amazon Workers
Chicago Lawyers Helping Employees with Workers’ Compensation Claims
Amazon markets itself to prospective employees as a workplace full of opportunities. Unfortunately, the speed and pressure of jobs at the company can lead to serious work injuries, which can seriously disrupt a worker’s career and finances, and require time off for recovery. A portion of the lost wages for injured Amazon workers may be recovered in the form of disability benefits if the injury resulted from a work-related accident. The Illinois workers’ compensation system provides medical and disability benefits to employees for their on-the-job injuries. For disability benefits, the level of compensation will depend on the extent of the injuries and the average weekly wage prior to getting injured. To determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits for a work injury, contact the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca for a consultation.
Lost Wages for Injured Amazon Workers
Some injuries may leave an Amazon employee completely unable to work. For example, if a warehouse worker who has to lift heavy items ruptures a disc, he may require spinal surgery and may be unable to remain on the same job. Alternatively, if a help desk staff suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome and is no longer able to type, his injury may prevent him from completing his work duties. If you cannot work while recovering from an employment-related injury, you may be able to receive temporary total disability benefits to make up for your lost wages. However, disability benefits do not cover all the lost wages for injured Amazon workers.
You will not be eligible for temporary total disability benefits for the first three days of lost wages. However, if you need at least 14 days off work to recover, you can be paid for the first three days retroactively.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits are equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wage prior to the injury. The state sets the maximum average weekly wage and adjusts it every six months. Temporary total disability benefits will be paid until your doctor concludes that you have reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point beyond which you will not improve any further.
Sometimes when workers reach maximum medical improvement, they can go back to work full time. However, in other cases, they may reach maximum medical improvement and find they can only return to work part time or with an accommodation, such as modified work duties.
If you return to light duty or part time work at Amazon, but are paid less, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits. These are 2/3 of the difference between what you earned in your position prior to injuries and the wages you would get while working light duty. For instance, if you transfer from a higher-paying warehouse job to a lower-paying sedentary position due to breaking your legs on the job, you may be able to receive temporary partial disability benefits. For questions on workers’ compensation benefit eligibility, speak with a lawyer experienced in this field.
Permanent Disability Benefits
In some cases, Amazon workers are so severely and permanently injured, they are eligible for permanent total disability benefits. You must reach maximum medical improvement before a doctor can determine whether the injury is permanently disabling. You’re only permanently, totally disabled if you cannot perform any kind of work or if you’ve lost the use of any two limbs, both eyes, both feet or both hands. For example, if both of your legs were trapped and crushed by a forklift in an Amazon warehouse and as a result you can no longer work, you may be able to get permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits amount to 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
There are other ways of calculating permanent disability payments when a disability is partial rather than total. These include wage differential benefits, which take into account your wages, as well as unscheduled awards, scheduled loss of use awards, and disfigurement benefits.
Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago
If you were injured while working at Amazon, you should talk to the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your situation. We represent injured workers in Chicago, Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, along with Cook, Adams, Winnebago, Kane, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or complete our online form.