When you think of opening a door, you don’t think of any risks being associated with that. My office door is so light that it’s almost comical. In fact I don’t think there is any time of day when I come across a door that provides any challenge to me.
Of course not all doors are like that. Some are really heavy and require a lot of effort to open. These doors are usually designed that way for a reason although occasionally they are just crummy doors that nobody has bothered to fix.
In a recent case decided at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, a man was awarded benefits after rupturing a tendon in his leg while stepping back to open up a heavy door.
As you can imagine, the insurance company denied the case originally, arguing that opening doors was an act of every day life. Basically they were saying that there was no increased risk of injury.
This type of insurance company strategy shows why making sure the facts are known and presented properly makes the difference between winning and losing a case. At trial it was proven that this worker had to go in an out of this heavy door multiple times a day. The testimony of the injured worker was very specific and talked about how tight the door was, the configuration of the door and the area leading to the laundry room where he worked and information that using both hands was required to open the door.
The worker further explained that he must step back to open the door because of the way it was hinged. A witness testified that the door was heavier than typically found in homes. Because of this, the Arbitrator found in his favor. Most doors don’t require two hands to open nor for you to step back when doing so.
Bottom line is that facts and how you present them matter. Whoever was the trial attorney must have done a good job of preparing the testimony and making sure that details were provided. You’d be surprised at how many attorneys don’t know the facts of a case and don’t help their clients provide detailed information that gives them the best chance of winning the case.
While doing activities that the general public has to do is typically not a case, your work may be unique or pose some risks that can allow you to obtain benefits.
If you’d like to run the facts of your case by an attorney for free, call us any time or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you. We cover all of Illinois.