COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Articles Tagged with United Airlines Employee Injuries

Chicago issued an emergency travel order which began at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will remain in effect until further notice.[i]  This means that anyone who has contact with one of fifteen states (listed in the travel order) and enters into Chicago will need to quarantine for 14 days.  This applies to those individuals visiting Chicago or returning to Chicago from visiting those states.

States included in the order are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

The rationale for this emergency travel order is that these States are seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases and infection rates.  Some of these states are reporting record numbers.  What this means for Chicago-area workers that revolve around or relate to those types of industries that deal with interstate travel is that they now might have a higher probability of contracting COVID-19 then they were weeks or months ago.

Attorney Frank J. Bertuca (left) recently won a landmark case in front of the IL Appellate Court for our union baggage handler who was employed at United Airlines. The Illinois Appellate Court unanimously reversed the circuit court and ruled that our client was entitled to a weekly differential check as a result of his work accident.  The case summary was published in the July 17, 2013 edition of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin.  United Airlines Inc. v. (Young), Ill. App. Ct., 1st  2013.”

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United Airlines employees can spend a lot of time away from home. It’s the nature of the job. Social media platforms make it much easier to stay close to family and friends. A flight attendant or pilot living in Washington DC can feel like they’re barely missing a beat of the evening chatter with the kids, even if they’re laying over in Denver that night and San Francisco the next. However, in the event of a work injury, social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, and the like are not the places to discuss details. If that injury results in a claim or court court case, what is said can be taken out of context and used against you.

 

Privacy settings on social media sites can lull users into a false sense of security. For people with careers that take them away from home regularly, such as United Airlines pilots or flight attendants, social networking sites can become the primary means used to discuss the details of family life or have personal discussions with close friends. After all, nobody but their select group of friends or contacts can see those postings or personal messages right? Unfortunately, that assumption has been proven wrong time and time again. The fact is, information posted on these sites, even by users who set strict limitations on access, can become very public in ways that most users would never expect.

 

In today’s world, with better than half of all adults participating in some form of social networking, sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a treasure-trove of information on people and their lives. It has become fairly routine for defense attorneys and insurance companies to mine social media sites for information on claimants. Employees who file workers’ compensation or personal injury claims against major corporations like United Airlines would be wise to err on the side of caution and assume that anything posted on social media will be scrutinized by those who will be opposing their claim.

It is not an uncommon experience for an injury that seems minor to gradually worsen over the course of a couple of hours or even a few days. However, in the case of a San Francisco pilot or flight attendant, this fairly common occurrence can be problematic if it involves a work related injury. According to United Airlines regulations, an injury that is not reported within their very specific time frame may not be eligible for workers’ compensation or other benefits. As any airline worker injury lawyer knows, reporting of all, even minor, injuries is important.

 

It is quite natural not to want to make a claim for every little bump or bruise, or to feel like a minor injury doesn’t need to be reported. Nobody wants to be seen as a complainer. However, that light ankle sprain can actually be a minor fracture that grows worse as weight continues to be put on it. A small scratch can turn into a serious infection. A slightly painful pulled muscle can turn into a debilitating event. Burns are notorious for worsening over time. A San Francisco flight attendant that gets what seems to be a minor injury in New York can be in serious pain by the time that United Airlines flight attendant returns to San Francisco.

 

The United Airlines flight attendant manual has very specific guidelines for when and how injuries must be reported. A supervisor must be notified immediately. Within 24 hours, a detailed, written injury report must be filed. That report must explain each element of the circumstances surrounding the injury, including the plane type and number. That report must also include a list of witnesses to the injury, as well as their contact information. This information is required in the event that there is eventually a workers’ compensation claim, as it will have to be thoroughly investigated before any monies are paid out.

A San Francisco airline worker making their first United Airlines injury claim may find the process quite daunting. There are time sensitive forms to be filled out and phone calls to make, all while in the midst of dealing with the pain and treatment of the injury itself. According to information from an United Airlines handbook addressing occupational injury procedures, failure to meet these requirements can result in a reduction of benefits or even result in a claim being denied. Consulting an attorney for assistance with the process can be helpful in making sure that everything goes as smoothly as it should.

Injury Notification

A work related injury must be reported immediately, even if a San Francisco airline worker is injured on the job in Washington DC. That can be done in person or by telephone, but it is supposed to be done right away. This is important because all United Airlines injury claims are investigated thoroughly before workers’ compensation benefits are approved. In addition to the verbal notification, there will be formal forms to fill out, describing the incident in detail and providing witness contact information. A San Francisco United Airlines flight attendant is required to send this written report in within 24 hours.

On occasion, as with any large industry, an United Airlines employee is injured by a co-worker during work. One incident, reported by New Jersey’s Star-Ledger on January 20, 2013, resulted in serious injury to an airline worker, who was pinned by a baggage cart after the cart was struck by a food service supply vehicle driven by another worker. This is the type of workplace injury situation that a New York United Airlines employee is best served by speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible, as liability and compensation in these sorts of cases can be complex. Initial statements regarding the circumstances of the injury can matter a great deal.

 

Circumstances Can Affect Liability

 

Sometimes, an accident is just that – an accident – and the standard procedures for dealing with compensation for an on the job injury are sufficient. However, that is not always the case and liability can expand beyond the usual workers’ compensation available for people hurt at work. Sometimes, an airline employee can be injured by a co-worker through the negligence of that co-worker. If the co-worker was impaired by drugs or alcohol, or was behaving in a reckless manner, for example, that could constitute negligence under the law and could affect liability.

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