You should be glad that you can’t hear my terrible singing voice, but maybe you remember the song by The Fixx, “One thing leads to another.”
I thought of that after reading about a recent Illinois work comp case that was decided against the City of Chicago and in favor of an injured worker. The original case was rather straight forward. The worker, a lineman, injured his foot and as a result was given a CAM Walker boot and placed on limited duty. Two months later while leaving his doctor’s office and still wearing the boot, he slipped on ice and fell, injuring his head.
The issue was could the injured worker prove that wearing the walking boot was at least a part of the reason why he fell. He testified that it was his right foot that slipped and that was the foot with the boot. He also testified that he was being extra careful due to the conditions, but the boot still slipped.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission felt that it was more likely that he could slip because of the boot so even though the original injury was to his foot, they awarded benefits for his injury to his head.
This is actually pretty well settled case law in Illinois. If your compensable work related injury leads to another injury or accident, that is all covered too. The most common example we see is when someone who is on crutches for a leg injury ends up with an elbow or shoulder injury from using the crutches too much.
It’s also seen a lot with overuse situations. In other words, if you hurt your right arm and suddenly have to use your left arm for everything then when your left arm has an injury, that would be covered too.
The other really common example is similar to the case we discussed. I can’t tell you how many injured workers have called me after falling at home. It can be that a leg gave out or they had a shooting pain in their back that caused them to lose balance or their knee buckled. If the reason for the fall traces back to a work related injury then the additional problems are covered under the Illinois Work Comp Act.
Just remember, if one thing leads to another, you win.
Is this confusing? It can be. If you have any questions about this or anything else, fill out our contact form to the right or call the number at the top of the page. It’s always free and confidential and we help injured workers everywhere in Illinois.