We are Illinois workers compensation attorneys who have been helping injured firefighters since 1997. If you would like a free, confidential consultation, please contact us any time at 888-705-1766.

The law treats almost every worker in Illinois the same when they are injured while working. By that, I mean that it could be your first day on the job or your 50th year at your job and you have the same rights. The same holds true when it comes to full-time vs. part-time, temp workers vs. full employees. Everyone gets the same Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

The big exception comes to the rights of police officers and firefighters. I’ve written about the police before, so today I want to talk about firefighters.

For those who work as firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, etc. the law was changed as of January 1, 2008 to make recovery under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Diseases Act. If you have any of the following health issues, it’s assumed that your injuries are work-related:

Any blood-borne pathogens
Lung or respiratory diseases or conditions
Heart or vascular diseases or conditions
Loss of hearing

When you work as a firefighter and have these health problems, it creates a “rebuttable presumption” that your problems are work-related. In other words, it shifts the burden to your employer to show that your injuries are not work-related. Even if they attempt to do that through some hired gun doctor, you can still present medical evidence in your favor.

Only first responders enjoy these rights in Illinois and rightfully so given how many dangerous carcinogens they are exposed to as well as dealing with a lot of lifting, loud noises and people with diseases.

It’s really important to hire an attorney who knows how to represent firefighters as not only do you have to deal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, but also potentially the Public Employees Disability Act as well as the Illinois pension code. The lawyers in our state-wide network have represented hundreds of firefighters and will make sure you don’t get taken advantage of and do get maximum compensation. This includes structuring settlement contracts in a way that maximizes lifetime benefits and avoids large reductions if you are receiving dual benefits.

As part of working with many firefighters over the years, we also know that many of you have second jobs that you work. We will make sure this additional income is factored into any lost pay or settlement benefits. Our lawyers also know how to deal with the bureaucracy of working for the Government and some of the nonsense that can go along with that.

Another big issue we see with firefighters hurt on the job is that they often get hurt due to the negligence of others. Maybe you are helping an injured person at their home and the stairs are defective causing you to fall. Maybe your truck gets hit by a car. Others have been hurt by debris on construction sites that weren’t properly maintained. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a law firm in your corner that can analyze and handle all of these issues.

Ad of course in the normal course of your job, firefighters sustain just about every injury imaginable. We see a ton with back injuries, severe burns, broken bones, ankle and leg injuries, and many who get hurt when they are attacked by relatives of the very people they are trying to help. This includes gunshots and fractured skulls.

Whatever your situation is, we’d love to give you a free consultation and try to help you. Firefighters employed by the City of Chicago are not covered by workers compensation benefits, with the exception of firefighters who suffer serious and permanent disfigurement due to burns. All other Illinois first responders we can help. Contact us any time at 888-705-1766.