State Troopers and Police Officers Injured on the Job (Excluding Chicago)
Many jobs pose potential hazards to those employed in the field. However, law enforcement officers face greater dangers than those in other occupations. State troopers and the police may be required to respond to high-speed chases, emergency work, and violent confrontations. They may be stabbed or shot. They also face the possibility of repetitive stress injuries. Sometimes they witness traumatic events and deaths. They may be diagnosed with PTSD. State troopers and police officers injured on the job should understand the full range of benefits to which they are entitled by consulting with our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.State Troopers and Police Officers Injured on the Job Outside of Chicago
Serious injuries can be life-changing. Whether you’re entitled to workers’ compensation depends on where you work in Illinois. Police officers in Chicago face different rules than many other workers do. They are excluded from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. However, if you’re a state trooper or police officer outside of Chicago, your workers’ compensation claim is treated the same as the claims of those in other jobs.Benefits
Benefits to which you’re entitled as an injured law enforcement officer include reasonably necessary medical care, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. What medical care is needed depends on the nature of the injuries. Medical care can include emergency services, first aid, doctor’s visits, medication, medical equipment, surgery, prosthetics, physical therapy, and physical rehabilitation. For example, if your leg was partially amputated due to a shooting while responding to a hostage situation, the insurer may need to pay for your ER visit, medical appointments, pain relief, surgery, prosthetic leg, and rehabilitation.
If you are unable to work for a period, you may be able to obtain temporary total disability benefits. These are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage. Sometimes, police officers may be able to return to work with restrictions. For instance, an officer may be restricted to desk duty for a period of time due to physical limitations. Under those circumstances, if the police department pays a lower salary for desk duty, the officer may apply for temporary partial disability benefits. These are paid at 2/3 of the difference between your wages before your injury and what you earn currently.
When you have reached maximum medical improvement, your doctor should decide whether you have experienced a partial or full disability, as well as whether this disability is permanent, In Illinois, you’re deemed permanently and totally disabled if you’re not able to perform any type of job or if you’ve lost the use of both legs, both feet, both arms, both hands, both eyes, or any two of these body parts. The state calculates permanent total disability benefits the same way as it calculates temporary total disability benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can explain all the benefits you may be entitled to for your injury or disability.
You may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation or retraining if you can no longer work as a state trooper or police officer. The insurer may also need to pay maintenance costs and expenses that are incidental to vocational rehabilitation. You may be able to obtain vocational rehabilitation if you suffer a work-related injury that reduces your ability to earn and there’s evidence the rehabilitation would improve it. There’s no firm standard for deciding what type of vocational rehabilitation services are appropriate. Often an arbitrator has to determine when these services should be provided and the nature of them.Psychological Injuries
When officers experience traumatic situations or violence on the job, they sometimes develop psychological injuries or PTSD. In the past, mental injuries were only compensable if precipitated by physical injuries. This made it relatively easy to demonstrate a causal relationship between the mental injury and work. However, standoffs with suspects can also result in other psychological injuries. For example, if you witnessed a suspect kill a fellow police officer, you might develop psychological injuries such as nightmares, insomnia, and anxiety, even though you weren’t physically wounded yourself. These psychological injuries may be compensable through the workers’ compensation system.Consult a Chicago Attorney
State troopers and police officers injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are employed by a city outside of Chicago and were injured at work, you should talk to the seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We represent injured state troopers and police officers in Champaign, Aurora, Quincy, and Rockford, along with Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.