There’s a long held standard in Illinois workers’ compensation cases that to win your case you have to show your job put you at an increased risk of injury as compared to the general public. In other words, if you were hurt doing something that you could have been doing anywhere then you don’t have a case. For example, if you sneeze at your desk and your back goes out on you, that’s not an increased risk of injury situation. On the other hand, if you work in extreme cold and that caused you to sneeze, you likely have a case.
This rule comes up a lot when became get hurt while getting up from chairs or after they bend down to pick something up. Like in the example above, you have to look at what their job duties are to see if there’s a case.
In general, the act of standing up is one that you do every day in life. So insurance companies fight those cases since there is no increased risk. A recent case where a nurse got injured while standing up and won her trial shows why you have to look at the unique facts and how details matter.
In that case, a registered nurse squatted down to empty a Foley catheter bag for a patient. She had to squat to reach the bag and drain it in to a cylinder. While standing up, she felt a pop in her back and immediate pain that was eventually diagnosed as a herniated disc.
In this case the Arbitrator ruled in her favor because she had to do more than the average squat down. She had to empty the catheter while holding on to the cylinder and stand up while being careful not to spill the contents. In other words, the job activities she had to do while squatting made the case a winner.
We see more injuries to knees than backs when standing up. In those cases we look at what you are doing as well as how often you are doing it. If you drop a pencil on the floor and your knee pops while standing up it’s probably not a case. On the other hand, if you are a carpenter who squats 50 times a day and your knee pops one time when standing up then I’d be shocked if we didn’t win that for you.
Bottom line is that facts matter. If you want to discuss what happened to you or just ask a question, please get in touch for a free consultation.