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Understanding Workers' Compensation for Police Officers and Firefighters in Will County

 Posted on January 26, 2023 in Workers' Compensation

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:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Severe sprains and strains
  • Bone fractures
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, smoke, and blood-borne illnesses

Notably, police officers and firefighters in Illinois, excluding those employed by the city of Chicago, can claim workers' compensation benefits for injuries sustained on the job. If your injury involved the negligence of another, you may also be eligible to submit a personal injury or wrongful death claim as well.  

Workers' Compensation for Police Officers and Firefighters

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act places confidence in police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders who have been on the job for five or more years when they submit a disability claim stemming from certain health conditions. These conditions are presumed to be brought upon by their line of work. With these types of claims, their employer is permitted to present rebuttable evidence if necessary, but the claim starts with the presumption that the condition is work-related. These conditions include the following:

  • Infections or conditions caused by blood-borne pathogens 
  • Cancer 
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Hearing loss
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Tuberculosis 

According to the Public Employee Disability Act, firefighters, police officers, first responders, and correctional officers who suffer an injury at work may qualify to collect their entire salary tax-free for a maximum of one year. Furthermore, under the Public Safety Employees Benefits Act, members of these professions who suffer a catastrophic injury while on the job may qualify for health coverage for the rest of their lives if the injury prevents them from returning to their job, regardless of whether they are able to work in another field. This health insurance coverage also extends to their family in the event of an emergency event that results in death. 

Contact a Joliet Workers' Compensation Attorney 

If you are a police officer, firefighter, or EMT who has been injured on the job, consider contacting the highly knowledgeable Will County workers' compensation lawyers at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. Call 815-727-0100 for a free consultation. 






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