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Workers' Compensation Hearings for Airline Workers

Chicago Lawyers for Injured Employees

All employers in Illinois, including airlines, must either obtain workers’ compensation insurance or be approved to self-insure. Thousands are employed by commercial airlines, and there are certain workplace injuries that are common based on the type of work being performed. Often flight attendants and baggage handlers experience back and shoulder injuries due to lifting. Ground service workers may experience acute injuries while maintaining the plane and other equipment. Airline office workers often suffer repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are an airline worker who was made sick or injured on the job, you may be concerned about obtaining benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, our seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can provide tenacious legal representation in connection with workers’ compensation hearings for airline workers.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you’re injured as an airline worker in Illinois, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you’ll need to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

After you’ve filed your Application for Adjustment of Claim, your case will be assigned an arbitrator and case number. Your case will be periodically reexamined in a status hearing until a trial is requested or your case settles. A status hearing is a chance for the arbitrator to hear whether you and the insurer have made progress on resolving your case and whether it should be continued. Either party may ask for a trial date. The case is monitored in this fashion for up to three years.

There are some situations in which an airline worker does not live or routinely work in Illinois, yet still qualifies for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you are an airline worker who was was hired in Illinois even though you don’t work or live there, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the state. Under those circumstances, you will be assigned a hearing site in a place considered convenient to you, the airline, and insurer.

Immediate Workers’ Compensation Hearings for Airline Workers

It is possible to get a speedy hearing under various circumstances. For example, you can ask for one by filing a 19(b) petition if your medical or temporary disability benefits were suddenly stopped. If you can’t return to work and need medical benefits or temporary disability benefits, you can also ask for a hearing.

You may receive benefits even before you file an Application for Adjustment of Claim. Even so, it may be important to file the Application; if the insurer refuses to pay benefits or suddenly stops your benefits, your attorney can ask for a 19(b) hearing, which is an expedited process. It will take more time to get to an immediate hearing if you haven’t filed an Application for Adjustment of Claim and suddenly stop receiving the benefits you need.

Unlike a status hearing, immediate and emergency hearings are similar to trials. Both sides present evidence, and each is responsible for proving their claims. For example, when there is a disagreement about medical benefits and a hearing takes place, you will need to prove that you need the treatment you’ve asked for, and that the costs for this treatment are reasonable.

If either side is not happy with the arbitrator’s decision, they can petition for review with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within 30 days.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving the Chicago Area

What happens at a workers’ compensation hearing for an airline worker in Chicago may affect proceedings further down the road, so it’s wise to retain a skilled lawyer to advocate on your behalf. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, we represent airline workers in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, and Rockford, along with Sangamon, Kane, Adams, Winnebago, and Cook Counties. We can review all aspects of your situation to determine the most appropriate case strategy. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.