To qualify for worker’s compensation benefits, you must be "injured in the course of your employment by a risk arising out of your employment."
When you drive to and from work everyday, you are not covered under worker’s compensation. In other words, if you get into a car accident and are injured on your way home from work, you will not be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule so be sure to consult with an Illinois lawyer who handles worker’s compensation cases, but this is the general rule.
On the other hand, if you get into a car accident and are injured on your way to a client site – something that is part of your job and that you are paid to do – you will be covered under worker’s compensation.
Similarly, if you are injured on a business trip out of town, you will get worker’s compensation even if you are not technically working at the moment you are injured. For example, if you are on a business trip and go out to dinner after work and are injured at the restaurant, you will be covered under worker’s compensation.
The standard for coverage while traveling for work is whether what you were doing at the time is considered "reasonably foreseeable." If you are traveling for work and staying at a hotel, it would be reasonably foreseeable that you would go to dinner at a restaurant. Therefore, if injured while doing that, you will get worker’s compensation benefits.
Possibly the most notorious example of this was a case where a worker was on business in Hawaii and got hurt riding a bike around a volcano, which is clearly a tourist activity. However, it was reasonably foreseeable that someone who travels to Hawaii for work may do this activity while not working and so was entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
Intoxication, though, is not considered reasonably foreseeable under Illinois law. So, if you get hurt while doing something while on a business trip and are found to have been under the influence while doing it, you will not be covered under worker’s compensation.
Under Illinois law, attorneys’ fees are limited to 20%. So, your attorney cannot receive more than 20% of the total award you receive. However, in some cases, attorneys’ fees may be added to the total award.
We are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.