The key to proving that your injury is a work injury (and that you get benefits) is connecting it to your job duties. Look at what your job requires of you, especially things that you don’t normally do in your non-work life. Some situations and injuries are clearly work related. If you are managing a construction project and get hurt by a piece of equipment on the job site, then it’s probably pretty clear that your job caused your injury.
Many cases, however, are less clear, including an injury while you’re on your lunch break. It depends on where you were and what you were doing. If you are at work while on your break, and you get hurt by something in the break room, consider the specific circumstances. If you get hurt using a knife to cut your sandwich, it’s probably not a work injury since most people use knives to cut food every day. On the other hand, if you are hurt by a heavy box falling on you because the break room is also the storage room, then that is a risk most people in the general public don’t face, and there’s a good argument that it would be a work injury.
What if you are injured out of the office on your lunch break? This scenario leaves room for a lot of activities that are completely unrelated to work. However, if you get into a car accident while running an errand for your boss on the way back to the office, it might be a work injury. If you are in an accident driving to a restaurant where you are meeting with clients, that also might be a work injury. Both scenarios are related to doing your job.
There are a thousand different sets of facts and circumstances. The bottom line is that something that seems unrelated might actually be related to your job because of the way the law works. It’s important to note that fault doesn’t matter when it comes to a work injury. As long as it arises out of and in the course of your employment, you should receive benefits, even if the injury was your own fault.
In Illinois, benefits include medical bill coverage, as well as regular checks to replace some of your lost income. Many people also receive a settlement for any permanent injury that remains after their treatment is complete.