… Then you can bet they will cut your benefits off the first chance they get even if it’s not following the law.

This sweet woman who contacted us was a secretary at her company and has worked there for a long time.  She’s a grandmother and seems to treat her co-workers like grandchildren, in a good way.

Nice as can be she loved to do special things for people on their birthdays.  It wasn’t part of her job description, but she liked her co-workers and working in a happy place.  On the day that she got hurt she was hanging a happy birthday banner.  That required her to stand on a chair.  Unfortunately she fell and was injured.

Now doing this work wasn’t part of her official job duties so the insurance company denied her claim because it did not “arise out of her employment” which is what you need to show in order to win a case. This denial is a ridiculous interpretation of the law for many reasons.

  1. Many people do things every day at work that aren’t part of their main job duties, but are part of being in a team environment.  You might hold the door open for someone or deliver a package to somebody’s desk since you are headed that way anyway or change a water jug in the break room.  That’s part of being a good employee and certainly the type that I like being around.
  2. She had done this in the past and the employer had no problem with it at all. If they were aware that she did this and it was a concern they had years to say something.  Because the employer isn’t nuts they of course loved her and what she did.
  3. This is way different than getting injured while you are goofing off at work.  If she had taken a golf cart for a joy ride for example and crashed it, that clearly wouldn’t be a case.
  4. Above all else, injuries arise out of your employment when the employer benefits from them.  Clearly the employer benefits by having a good morale in the office and this injured worker played a big role in this.

It’s important to note that her employer seems awesome and that they have nothing to do with this case being denied.  She, like many people who contact us, loves where she works. As I tried to explain to her, this case is not a lawsuit against the employer it’s simply a claim for benefits.  The insurance company is the problem and that is who we would deal with.

You might be thinking, “How could they do this to such a nice woman?”  Insurance companies don’t see her or you or anyone as a name or a person. They see you as a file number and have a goal to spend as little as possible on that file. It might feel personal, but to them it’s just business.  Greedy, often shady business.

If you have any questions about a work related injury in Illinois we are happy to talk to you at any time. Fill out our form to the right or call us at (312) 346-5578 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.