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Joliet workers' comp lawyersIt is not hyperbole to say that police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders are among the heroes of our society. Day after day, night after night, these men and women put their life on the line to help others in their time of greatest need. But unfortunately, such occupations do carry a substantial risk of injury. As a result, police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are eligible for workers' compensation for injuries they sustain in the line of duty. 

Today, we will talk about what is most important to know regarding workers' compensation for police officers, firefighters, and EMTs. Accordingly, if you are an individual working in one of these professions and you have sustained an injury on the job, do not hesitate to contact a workers' compensation attorney to ensure you receive the compensation for your injury or injuries that you may be entitled to.

Common Injuries for Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and EMTs

Injuries are prevalent in these types of roles because of the physicality of the job. Whether chasing down a suspect and wrestling them to the ground or running into a burning office building to save the occupants inside, these jobs are very physical, making it easier to sustain injuries. Common injuries include the following:

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Will County workers' compensation lawyerTo put it plainly, workers' compensation is there to help injured workers when they need it most. Compensation for a work-related injury is often used for medical expenses, lost wages, and even total disability if the injury was severe to the extent that the injured person became disabled because of the injury. Thankfully, the Illinois Workers' Compensation act mandates that employers provide workers' compensation insurance to their employees. 

However, like many other government programs, the process for obtaining workers’ compensation can be difficult and highly complex. As a result, making a mistake when filing your claim can be easy. To ensure that no errors are made, contacting, and working with an experienced workers' compensation attorney is essential to ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.

What Mistakes Do People Make When Filing Their Claim? 

Making a mistake during the workers’ compensation process is an excellent way to derail your claim. Besides not hiring an attorney after their work-related accident, the first mistake people often make when filing for workers' compensation is failing to receive medical treatment for their injuries promptly. If you delay getting treatment for your injuries, the insurance company will likely argue that your injury could not have been that serious if it did not require prompt medical treatment. So get treatment as soon as possible. 

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shutterstock_1406835650-1.jpgPeople who suffer injuries on the job can be entitled to workers’ compensation, and workers’ compensation benefits are usually paid regardless of fault. When an employer’s own negligence is the cause of a devastating accident, then people may want to pursue additional legal options beyond just workers’ compensation.

When Third Parties Are Liable for Workplace Accidents

If a person is involved in an accident while they are working, such as another person causing a motor vehicle accident while doing something for work, that person can recover workers’ compensation benefits that will help pay bills. The problem is that the employer is paying for those benefits and the employer did not cause the accident, the negligent driver did.

A third-party claim is a separate lawsuit a person files in addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Virtually every claim will involve negligence and require a person to prove that another party had a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, that breach caused injuries, and those injuries have resulted in damages.

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Will County workers compensation lawyerIllinois requires most employers to have insurance that covers employees who get hurt on the job. When employees are injured on the job badly enough that they can never fully recover, future employment can be out of the question. In cases like this, it may seem like common sense to make sure the injured employee receives permanent disability benefits. Unfortunately, employers’ insurance companies usually fight these claims and deserving victims can be left without the resources they need. If you have been injured at work, be sure to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney before you make any decisions. 

What Injuries Cause Permanent Disability? 

Construction workers, truck drivers, police officers, and other high-risk employees are at particular danger of suffering injuries that can cause permanent disability. These injuries include: 

  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Quadriplegia and paraplegia 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations 
  • Knee injuries
  • Severe burns

How Can I Get Permanent Disability Benefits? 

When a workplace accident causes an injury so significant that someone cannot work again, permanent disability benefits are available. While certain injuries, such as the loss of the use of any two of a victim’s eyes, hands, feet, or legs automatically qualifies the victim for permanent disability benefits, it can be difficult to prove that other injuries have made it impossible to work again. An attorney can help make the case that permanent disability benefits are appropriate, as well as help to maximize those benefits. 

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Joliet workplace injury lawyerWhen someone is seriously injured or has ongoing health issues, their ability to go to work every day can be threatened. Unfortunately, injury and illness can result in job loss and the disastrous consequences that come with it - unpaid bills, food insecurity, and even homelessness. Fortunately, there are options to replace your income if you are unable to work due to serious illness or injury: Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers’ compensation benefits. Although these are similar, they are not the same and it is important to understand the difference between the two, especially if you sustained a work-related injury that has kept you from earning a paycheck. 

What is Workers’ Compensation? 

Nearly all Illinois employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, which allows employees to receive benefits after a workplace-related injury or illness. The upside to workers’ compensation benefits is that, in most cases, workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits even if they were at fault for the injury or illness. The downside is that workers’ compensation usually shields employers from lawsuits after an employee has been injured or made ill through no fault of their own. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and sometimes even job training if the employee is unable to return to their former profession. 

What are Social Security Disability Benefits? 

While workers’ compensation benefits protect employees who are injured on the job, SSD is meant to cover long-term injuries and illnesses that are debilitating enough to keep someone out of work no matter how the person was injured or became ill. SSD benefits are provided by a federal program, rather than a state program; to qualify, a SSD recipient must be unable to do work they did before their injury or illness, and unable to perform any other type of work. SSD benefits are difficult to receive because the definition of disability is quite strict, but having an attorney with experience handling SSD denials and appeals can help you successfully obtain benefits, even if you have unsuccessfully applied in the past. You may even be able to obtain both SSD and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. 

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