State Troopers and Police Officers With Temporary and Total Disabilities
Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Law Enforcement Personnel
State troopers and police officers face high degrees of stress while regularly confronting potentially fatal dangers. When responding to emergencies, they might find themselves in the midst of violence or pursuing a suspect in a high-speed chase. State troopers and police officers with temporary and total disabilities should consult with the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to understand their benefits and legal rights.
State Troopers and Police Officers with Temporary and Total Disabilities
As a state trooper or police officer, you may have sustained a serious back injury that left you unable to perform your job. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to most workers who suffer work-related injuries regardless of their employer’s fault or their own. While Chicago police officers may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, they have other recourse available. Chicago police officers should speak with a lawyer to understand their right to compensation for work-related injuries. However, other law enforcement officers may be able to secure temporary and total disability benefits through the state workers’ compensation system.
If you work as a state trooper or a police officer outside of Chicago, you will not need to prove your employer’s negligence to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. You will need to establish that your injury is related to your job as a state trooper or officer. You will also need to notify your employer of your work-related injuries as soon as you can. A valid claim may be denied because a worker failed to give notice within the 45-day time period or because an employer or insurer thinks, due to the delay in notice, the injury was not work-related.
If you’ve been unable to work for at least three days, you may be paid temporary total disability benefits. Even if these benefits are paid, the employer or insurer may investigate the claim. Sometimes the employer or insurer will conduct surveillance as part of the investigation to determine whether the worker fraudulently misstated the severity of the injury.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits are paid at 2/3 of your average weekly wage. These benefits are not taxable. The way your average weekly wage is calculated matters. In most cases, bonuses and overtime do not figure into these calculations, but in some situations, overtime may be considered in calculating the average weekly wage. If an insurer calculates your average weekly wage incorrectly, you may not receive the full benefits to which you’re entitled.
As a police officer or state trooper, you may be able to return to your job part-time or on light duty. For instance, if you are usually on patrol but was injured in a violent conflict, you could be placed on desk duty or receive another accommodation. However, if your employer can’t accommodate the light duty or other modifications your doctor recommends in response to your work-related injuries, you may stay off work and receive temporary total disability benefits.
Maximum Medical Improvement
When your condition can no longer improve, even with further medical treatment, your doctor may conclude that you’ve arrived at maximum medical improvement. At that point, your doctor will determine whether you’re left with a partial or total disability. If the harm is permanent, such that you can no longer work in any type of job, you may be able to receive permanent total disability benefits, which are calculated at the same rate as temporary total disability benefits. You may also obtain these benefits if you lose the use of any two body parts or both hands, eyes, arms, feet or legs.
Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
State troopers and police officers with temporary and total disabilities should discuss their situation with the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We handle the claims of injured state troopers and police officers in Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign. We also represent injured law enforcement officers in Adams, Kane, Cook, Sangamon, and Winnebago Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or complete our online form.