Policing Workers’ Compensation

police officer walks along a street downtown

Many people have an image in their minds of what workers’ compensation cases look like, or, more specifically, what workers' compensation clients look like. They imagine that most workers’ compensation cases involve blue collar workers who work in physically demanding jobs.

While this is partially true, as I’ve written previously in past blogs, traveling workers are covered, as are people who work from home. Workers’ compensation involves ALL workers—including police officers.

However, depending on where the police officer works, they may be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act or perhaps under another set of laws, like the Chicago Pension Code.

The Law That Applies to The Law

Chicago Police officers and firefighters are not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. They have their own separate Pension Code that governs compensation for work-related injuries. Suffice it to say it is a complicated and unique system. As if workers’ compensation needed to be made more difficult and bewildering!

For this reason, many lawyers do not handle workers' compensation cases involving Chicago police officers, firefighters, or EMTs.

Then There’s Everybody Else

For every other police officer in the state of Illinois, the WCA applies. Just like normal workers’ compensation cases, the same analysis is applied; if the injured worker was performing his or her job duties and was injured, they are covered under workers’ compensation.

This means that the worker (officer) is entitled to medical benefits, Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments while off work, and a permanency settlement of Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). All of this is based upon the officer’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW).

Acronyms rule the day in workers’ compensation!

Types of Injuries

Police officers get injured in many of the same ways other workers do. They can be involved in motor vehicle crashes, both while pursuing suspects and while merely driving around on their beat. Officers can trip and fall on sidewalks or in parking lots, sometimes just walking, and more often, while pursuing suspects. The type of injuries I see most often from my police officer clients are incurred while attempting to subdue suspected criminals.

Officers have been run over by vehicles while suspects attempt to flee arrest.

Officers injure knees, ankles, shoulders, hands, backs, and just about every other body part when attempting to subdue suspects. Torn ACLs, broken hands, sprained ankles, fractured feet, herniated discs in their back or neck, rotator cuff injuries. These reinforce the fact that police officers have physically demanding jobs.

And we haven’t even discussed other serious injuries incurred when, unfortunately, officers are shot in the line of duty.


  • Police officers are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act…unless they are Chicago Police Officers
  • Workers’ compensation for police is the same as it is for other workers, although the injuries are more frequent than many people realize

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

As in all cases involving injury, dog bites or injuries, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, or other injury and potential liability, if you have been injured at work, immediately get medical treatment, report the incident to your employer, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as workers’ compensation.

If you've been injured and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has over 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything up front, and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day; contact Stephen now.

Categories: Work Injuries