As anyone in the Chicago area can tell you, the roads have been terrible as of late. If you haven’t seen a car that has been in accident from sliding on ice, you haven’t been out much.
In general, accidents while driving to work are not covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. So if you skid on ice in to a pole, you are probably not covered. If someone skids in to you and injures you, you can get a car accident lawyer (we’d be happy to refer you to a great firm near where you live).
Like most laws, there are exceptions. While driving to and from work is generally not covered, if you are a traveling employee you would be covered. Last month a traveling nurse called us after skidding on ice in to a curb and sustaining a back injury. It’s a work comp case because she was traveling to her client’s home. Another guy called us who was injured in a car accident while driving to an off site meeting. That is also clearly a case under Illinois law.
Another exception could be if you are driving a company vehicle that has advertising on it. Your employer benefits from you driving around and promoting their company, so accidents while driving are typically covered under Illinois law in that case.
It’s also an exception when you are hauling materials for work in your car. If you drive to the same construction site every day, that is your office, so generally speaking, a car accident to or from work wouldn’t be covered. But if you load up your truck with work materials, the employer benefits and you are essentially on the clock while you are driving, even if you aren’t getting paid at that time.
Bottom line is that while generally driving to work isn’t work comp when you are in an accident, there are exceptions and with the crummy weather we’ve been having, it’s always worth it to see if you fit in to any of these or other exceptions. Feel free to call or e-mail us any time for a free consultation with a lawyer to see if you have a case.