The general rule is that your injury is covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance if it happens while you’re doing your job. The injury also has to be related to your job. It sounds straightforward, but many cases fall into a gray area. For example, what if you have arrived at work but get hurt before you officially clock in?

It probably depends on what you were doing when you got hurt. If you were getting out of your car, your claim might be denied because you weren’t yet doing anything work related (although it depends on the details, such as whether your employer owned the parking lot, required you to park there, maintained the lot, etc.). If you’re already inside the building, you have a better shot of being covered for an injury.

The other thing to consider is what actually caused your injury. Even if you had already clocked in, your injury has to be related to your job in some way. It’s usually clear case when a worker is injured while climbing a ladder, lifting heavy equipment, or inhaling toxic fumes. But sometimes a worker is injured in a way that is less obvious, such as tripping up the stairs.

When it comes to an injury like this, one that could happen anywhere to anyone, you have to prove that you were at a greater risk than the general public because of your work. Maybe you were carrying a stack of files up the stairs, or maybe your boss needed you right away and you were hurrying. Maybe there was something about the stairs that was unique to your place of employment.

These cases really do come down to the facts. It’s important to get advice from an Illinois attorney who has seen hundreds of cases and knows what to look for and how to prove it. If you have questions, feel free to give us a call.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys who 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.

By Michael Helfand