Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Airline Industry
Repetitive stress injuries can include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis. With a complex range of bones, tendons, muscles and nerves, hands are especially vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries. These injuries can be debilitating and painful. The airline industry is full of dangers, including the dangers of repetitive stress injuries for workers such as baggage handlers and other personnel. A repetitive stress injury can make it challenging to do your job, and you may need time away from the job to recover. If you've suffered a repetitive stress injury in the airline industry, our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can assess the viability of a benefits claim for you.Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Airline Industry
Airline workers may suffer a number of different kinds of injuries while working, and among these are repetitive stress injuries to the hands, neck, shoulders, and back, such as those sustained while loading baggage. These types of injuries may be suffered in an airline office or desk job as well. Common symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include sensitivity to extreme temperatures, weakness, stiffness, numbness, tingling, and swelling. If you suffer repetitive stress injuries in the airline industry, you may be eligible for Illinois workers' compensation benefits.
All employees of Illinois-based airlines are able to obtain workers' compensation benefits under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. Similarly, anyone injured in Illinois can qualify for workers' compensation benefits in this state regardless of the home base of the airline.
Sometimes independent medical examination doctors assessing workers’ cases on behalf of employer insurance carriers claim that a repetitive stress injury can only occur in situations where speed and force are involved. Insurers may deny a repetitive stress injury claim on this basis. You should be aware that insurers often take a skeptical approach to repetitive stress injuries because often they aren't based on a sudden observable trauma. They may raise doubts and fight your claim even if they know they are likely to lose. The primary issue is whether work is a factor in the injury. This can be established through your testimony, which a skilled work injury lawyer can help you present.Benefits
Most of the time, repetitive stress injuries associated with airline work are temporarily rather than permanently disabling. If you are injured on the job and need time off, you can get temporary total disability benefits. However, you won't be able to get the first three disability days' wages replaced until you've been disabled and off work for a minimum of 14 days.
Temporary benefits are paid until your doctor finds that your repetitive stress injury has gotten to maximum medical improvement. Temporary total disability benefits are 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a specific maximum. The cap is updated every six months.
In some cases, an airline worker is able to go back to part time or light duty work that pays them less money than they previously received. The benefits they can get in that case are 2/3 of the difference between what they could have earned before becoming injured and what they're currently earning. For example, if you earned $1000 each week prior to suffering the disabling repetitive stress injury and were set to get a $100 raise during the period of disability, and you come back and work part-time earning only $500 each week, you can get 2/3 of the difference between $1100 and $500.
After you finish receiving medical treatment, you can be evaluated for permanent disability by your doctor. If your repetitive stress injury goes on for a long time and damages the soft tissues of your body, rendering you permanently and totally disabled, you can keep getting weekly payments at the temporary total disability rate for the remainder of your life.Consult an Experienced Airline Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you have suffered repetitive stress injuries in the airline industry, the tenacious Chicago attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help you determine whether you have a workers' compensation claim. We handle claims by injured airline workers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Springfield, as well as Kane, Winnebago, Sangamon, Champaign, Adams, and Cook Counties. Please call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 or contact us online for a free consultation.