Many people work in jobs that push their physical limits. Workers’ compensation law provides benefits, such as medical bill coverage and payment for lost wages, for many employees who are injured because of the work that they do. The workers’ compensation system helps these workers get the treatment they need and get back to work.
Although Illinois’ work injury laws are some of the most worker-friendly in the country, these laws don’t apply in every situation. There are some injuries that aren’t considered work injuries, even if they happen at work. For example, if your injury is not specific to your job, and instead is an injury the general public is equally at risk for, then it might fall outside of the legal definition of work injury.
Plantar fasciitis is an example of one of these injuries that might not qualify because so many people are at risk. It’s a foot injury that is fairly common among people who stand all day at work. Unfortunately, it’s also common among the general public because lots of people stand all day for various reasons. In order to get benefits, you’ll likely have to prove that your job puts you at an increased risk for plantar fasciitis (more than the risk faced by those in the general public).
In order to prove that you are at an increased risk for plantar fasciitis – or any other injury caused by merely standing – you’ll have to get specific. You will have to show, for example, that there is something particular about your job duties that make this injury more likely. Maybe you have to wear certain shoes in order to do your job and those shoes put you at higher risk. Or maybe you have to do such an extreme amount of standing or walking that you are clearly at more of a risk than the average person.
Another obstacle with plantar fasciitis is that there are additional causes beyond extended periods of standing. Obesity, age and diabetes can contribute to or cause this condition. In order to be eligible for benefits, your injury has to arise out of and in the course of your employment. That said, if your job aggravates or accelerates an injury, then you should be covered. Again, you’ll have to prove increased risk.
Plantar fasciitis can also be caused or triggered by a single incident. These cases tend to be easier to prove. If you were injured in a work-related accident and developed a foot injury as a result, it’s more clearly work related.
We know all of these rules can be frustrating, especially when all you really want to know is whether you can get benefits. The bottom line in plantar fasciitis cases is that the insurance company might try to deny your claim, but it’s not the final word on the matter. Foot injuries can be serious and affect your ability to continue to work. It’s worth finding out whether you have a claim worth pursuing.