A former Illinois State Trooper, Matt Mitchell, recently filed for workers’ compensation benefits stemming from injuries sustained when he caused a car accident while on duty as a state trooper 2 years ago.
As explained in this AOL News article, the car accident occurred when he was responding to an emergency call. He was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone and responding to emails when he lost control of his police cruiser, which was traveling in excess of 100 mph. The vehicle jumped the median and collided head on with another car, killing its teenage occupants, Kelli and Jessica Uhl.
He later pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving and subsequently resigned from the force. A civil suit is still pending.
Members of the family of the victims of the crash are unhappy that he has filed for workers’ compensation benefits for injuries related to the crash. However, benefits have not yet been granted, as explained by a representative of the ex-trooper:
Ed Herman, an attorney and spokesman for Mitchell, declined to comment specifically about the case. “The state of Illinois has a process for these claims, and we need to let the process play itself out without outside influence,” he said by telephone.
Mitchell’s attorney is correct–there is a system in place that will determine Mithcell’s eligibility to obtain benefits. Unfortunately, that process can sometimes be complicated. To learn more about Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, you can visit the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website, where you can find this useful handbook that explains the process for injuries and illnesses occurring after February 1, 2006. As explained in the handbook, in many cases, retaining the services of an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney may be advisable.