Illinois Police and Firefighter Work Injury Lawyer
Police officers and firefighters are some of the bravest people among us— regularly putting themselves in harm's way in order to protect, rescue, and serve us.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC believe that their courage and dedication entitles them to receive nothing but the highest quality of care when they are injured on the job.
Fortunately, the law also provides special protection to those who put their health, bodies, and lives on the line for us.
If you are a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, or another public worker who has been injured on duty, we can help you with your claim.
Contact our Illinois workers' compensation attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Police Officer and Firefighter Claims Can Be More Complex
Many law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders work additional jobs to be able to serve us while still supporting their families and their employers are often aware of these side jobs.
If one of these individuals is injured while in the line of duty, it can impact their ability to return to either job, jeopardizing their financial health and ability to provide. When filing workers' compensation claims, some public workers lose out on benefits because their side jobs are not considered at the time of filing.
Working for the city also ensures added bureaucracy and scrutiny from superiors when workers are injured and file claims. They often feel as if they are forced to jump through hoops before receiving the compensation they are entitled to receive.
As Chicago faces steeper economic challenges, department heads are being pressured to reduce their departments' liability, resulting in the unfair and illegal treatment of workers' compensation claims.
If you or a family member was injured while working as a police or fireman, you are likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Contact the workers' compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for more information and a free review of your legal rights and options.
What are the Defined Rights of Injured Officers, Firefighters, and First Responders?
Police officers, firefighters, first responders, paramedics, and other emergency responders were granted additional rights in 2008 when an Illinois Senate amendment to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.
The Workers' Compensation Act expanded the types of injuries that qualify for maximum compensation for various injuries sustained from physically demanding work during the ordinary course of work on a day-to-day basis, exposure to contagions, or traumatic events.
These injuries could include:
- Diseases from contact with bloodborne pathogens
- Lung or respiratory disease
- Heart conditions
- Hearing loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Occupational diseases
The injured worker might be harmed by a traumatic event, chasing a fleeing suspect, or intense physical exertion while performing one's duties.
Have you suffered an injury on the job as a police officer or firefighter and need to know more about your rights? If so, our Chicago workers' compensation lawyers can answer your questions. Call us for a free initial consultation.
Rights to Potential Benefits Could Include:
Following are rights under Illinois law granted to all workers who have been injured on the job.
- An injured worker can seek medical attention from whichever specialist they prefer, and their employer must cover the entire cost of their treatment.
- An injured worker is entitled to receive two-thirds of your wages during the rehabilitation medical expenses. It also includes the value of the income lost from side jobs or a part-time job.
- Injured workers with a workplace-related permanent disability could receive additional compensation in a lump sum meant to provide for the value of lost opportunities throughout the remainder of their lives.
- Many wonderful laws provide every injured police officer and firefighter the right to bring a lawsuit against any third party that may be liable for their injuries. Examples of third-party claims are claims filed against a driver who collides with the worker while on duty or an equipment manufacturer that produced defective machinery or protective equipment.
- Surviving spouses and dependent children of a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic who suffered fatal injuries sustained in the line of duty are entitled to receive benefits relative to the financial contribution the deceased made to their family.
Illinois Workers Compensation Act
According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, police officers, firefighters, and first responders who suffer from a work-related injury that is not diagnosed until years after the initial incident are awarded benefits. The same is true if their disability worsens over time.
In 2014, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel created a panel to oversee investigations into worker's comp claims in an attempt to reduce the number of fraudulent claims in a department that is already under scrutiny.
According to a recent report, Chicago has spent more than one billion dollars in workers comp over the past 10 years, which was an average of $100 million each year. City officials have stated their goals for this program are to prevent fraud and educate police officers about what types of injuries are covered by workers comp.
Since the program began last year, more than 100 law enforcement officers have been discharged for failing to report an on-the-job injury within 72 hours of when it happened. Other officers were let go because they didn't file their claims on time or could not provide medical records documenting their treatment needs.
Illinois Workers' Compensation Benefits
Illinois workers' compensation laws grant police officers and firefighters additional rights if they are injured on the job.
The injured worker's rights include the following:
- Right to seek medical attention from any specialist
- Right to two-thirds of their lost wages of disability pay while rehabilitating, and
- Right to bring a lawsuit against any third party that may be liable for their injuries
- Families of police officers, firefighters, first responders, or paramedics killed in the line of duty are also entitled to benefits.
The Illinois Pension Code
The Illinois Pension Code is a law that sets the rules for how pensions are funded and paid in Illinois. It covers all types of pensions, including public, private, and union pensions. Not all public pensions are covered by the Pension Code, but some of the most common ones are.
The following is a list of types of public pensions that may be subject to the state's Pension Code:
- Teachers' Retirement System (TRS)
- Judges Retirement System (JRS)
- General Assembly Retirement System (GARS)
- Forest Preserve District Retirement System (FPFRS)
- Park Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago (PEABFC)
- Police Pension Fund of Chicago (PPFC)
- Firemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago (FABFC)
- Public School Teachers' Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago
Following the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Regulations
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) is a state agency created in 1915 to administer the workers' compensation system in Illinois. The IWCC hears and decides disputes between employees and their employers over workers' compensation benefits.
The IWCC has an online system that allows employers to file for benefits. The system is called Arbitration Tracking System (ATS). The IWCC also decides disputes between employers concerning liability for work-related injuries.
Following the commission's rules and regulations can be challenging. However, a knowledgeable and experienced attorney from our law firm can help.
Our attorneys have years of experience helping injured police officers pursue the benefits they deserve. Contact our law firm today to speak with our legal team.
Public Employee Disability Act for Police Officers and Firefighters
The Illinois legislature enacted the Public Employees Disability Act providing benefits to police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who suffer injuries or become ill as a result of their job duties.
This law covers any type of serious risks, injury, or illness, including those that are not diagnosed until years after the initial incident. The Public Employees Disability Act also covers workers injured on the job that worsen over time.
Public employees who become ill or injured as a result of their employment should report it to their employer and may also benefit from hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney. If you have questions about your qualifications for receiving benefits, please contact our Chicago injury lawyers today.
Contact a Chicago Police and Firefighter Workers Compensation & Injury Law Firm
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has assisted thousands of clients in filing workers' compensation claims and lawsuits against parties that have caused them harm.
Our Cook County workplace injury attorneys have experience representing: police officers, paramedics, and firefighters with these types of cases. They can help maximize the value of your claim by exploring every legal avenue available to recover compensation.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation so that we can review your legal options and collect the information we need to get to work diligently on your behalf.
If we cannot recover the compensation you are entitled to on your behalf our services will come at no cost. We are actively prosecuting Firefighters Foam Cancer Lawsuits on behalf of firefighters in Chicago and across the country.
Our personal injury attorneys serve clients and provide immediate legal help in various practice areas throughout Illinois, including Cook County, DeKalb County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Champaign County, Winnebago County, Sangamon County, Will County, and others.