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How Can Police Officers Recover Damages for Car Accident Injuries?

Posted on in Workers’ Compensation

IL injury lawyerLaw enforcement officers often have dangerous jobs, and they can be injured in any number of ways while performing their duties. Of course, there is the risk of intentional injury at the hands of a criminal suspect or a person who chooses to target a police officer, but patrolling officers are also often injured in car accidents. Just this past weekend, an Illinois State trooper in Chicago was injured while conducting a traffic stop when he was struck by a driver who was subsequently charged with a DUI. Fortunately, officers and their families have options for recovering compensation for injuries sustained in the line of duty.

Workers’ Compensation and Other Benefits

Like most employees in Illinois, law enforcement officers who are injured in the course of their work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through their employers. These benefits provide for the costs of an injured officer’s medical care, and they can also provide lost wage benefits when the injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities. Officers also have additional protection under the Illinois Public Employee Disability Act, which provides benefits in the full amount of the officer’s salary for the first year of their disability. These benefits are often the first place an injured officer should look for the compensation they need.

Third-Party Liability

In many cases when an officer is injured in a car crash, especially when the officer is on foot, the fault lies with the driver of the other vehicle. As such, there may be another available avenue for compensation in the form of a third-party personal injury claim. As with any personal injury claim, an injured law enforcement officer will need to demonstrate that their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence. For example, the driver may have been speeding, driving recklessly, or operating while distracted or under the influence of a controlled substance.

While medical bills and lost wages are often covered by the benefits available to law enforcement officers, personal injury claims allow injured officers to pursue additional compensation for non-economic pain and suffering damages, which address the impact of the injuries on the officer’s daily life and mental well-being. If an officer dies in a fatal accident, surviving family can pursue wrongful death damages from the negligent party.

Contact a Waukegan, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

At Salvi & Maher, LLC, we understand the risks that law enforcement officers face and the impact that injuries can have on officers and their families. Our Lake County personal injury attorneys can help injured law enforcement officers pursue the available means of compensation, including by filing a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://wgntv.com/news/chicago-news/illinois-state-trooper-hit-by-dui-driver-on-dan-ryan-expressway/

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=115&ChapterID=2

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