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State Troopers and Police Officers With Partial Disabilities

Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Law Enforcement Personnel

Illinois law enforcement officers face substantial occupational hazards. When confronted by violence while responding to a dire emergency, troopers and officers may sustain injuries on the job. State troopers and police officers with partial disabilities due to job-related incidents should talk to our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we help law enforcement officers seek workers’ compensation benefits.

State Troopers and Police Officers with Partial Disabilities

Working as a state trooper or police officer requires considerable physical stamina and ability. If you are injured on the job, you may find yourself partially disabled and unable to work. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows workers to obtain benefits for job-related injuries. Through the workers’ compensation system, a police officer or state trooper can obtain workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault or blame. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act excludes police officers who work in a city with a population of more than 500,000. In effect, Chicago police officers are excluded from the workers’ compensation system, but they have other remedies, such as protection through their union contract.

If you were injured on the job while working as a state trooper or as a police officer for a municipality other than Chicago, you will be eligible for the same workers’ compensation benefits available to other workers. In general, you’ll need to demonstrate: (1) your injuries left you partially disabled and (2) these injuries were sustained on the job or related to it.

You need to provide your employer with notice within 45 days or your claim can be denied. You should give written notice to your employer right away, even if you believe that your employer already knows about your disabling injuries it was documented in a police or incident report.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

If you’re working light duty and earning less than you’d earn in the full capacity of your job, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits. In some cases, you may be earning less because the disability restricts your working hours. In other cases, your employer may only be able to accommodate you by assigning you to a lesser paying position. For example, if you sustained a complex fracture while chasing a suspect and, for a period of time, can only serve desk duty that pays less than your usual job, you may be able to obtain temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are available so long as you’re still actively treating your injuries but haven’t reached maximum medical improvement.

Temporary partial disability benefits amount to 2/3 of the difference between how much you made prior to your injury, the average amount while fully performing your duties as a state trooper or police officer, and the gross amount you’re able to earn afterward in a modified job or any other job you work. Consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to understand how partial disability payments are calculated.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

For severe work-related injuries, you may face permanent restrictions in your hours and types of work you may perform. In that case, you may be able to obtain permanent partial disability benefits. State troopers and police officers with partial disabilities may seek these benefits once they have reached maximum medical improvement, which occurs when they can no longer improve their condition, yet still have some permanent restrictions. Permanent partial disability benefits may be appropriate if you suffered from amputation, disfigurement, or physical impairment caused by your job-related injuries, but you can still do some work.

Permanent partial disability benefits may be paid in a lump sum or installment payments, depending on what you prefer. If you select installment payments, they’ll be paid until you reach age 70. There are four ways that permanent disability may be calculated in Illinois. These methods of calculation are scheduled injury, wage differential, degree of disfigurement, and percentage of loss.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

As a state trooper or police officer who has a partial disability, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We represent injured state troopers and police officers in their claims in Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign. We also represent them in Adams, Kane, Cook, Sangamon, and Winnebago Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.