The Illinois workplace injuries you suffer are not always physical ones. For one firefighter seeking workers’ compensation benefits, his injury was post-traumatic stress after a fellow firefighter died battling a blaze. Even though the firefighter did not actually see his colleague die and was not involved in trying to rescue or resuscitate him, the overall facts of the case still indicated that he suffered a “severe emotional shock” and was entitled to benefits, the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled.
The claimant was a man who began working as a firefighter in 1986. In 2010, he was a lieutenant in a small department for the Village of Homewood. The man was in command at a fire in Homewood in March 2010 when a flashover occurred and one of Homewood’s firefighters died in the blaze.
After the incident, the Homewood fire chief told the lieutenant that he could not return to work until he was cleared by a psychiatrist. By May, the lieutenant had seen a doctor, who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder. The lieutenant returned to work in the fall of 2010.