Under Illinois work comp law, you are entitled to medical care and compensation for accidents that “arise out of and in the course of your employment.”  In plain English this generally means that if you are hurt doing your job or something that benefits your employer and get injured, you have a case.

When it comes to injuries while at lunch, the question as to whether or not you have a case usually comes down to were you hurt in the course of your employment?

The biggest factor as to whether or not you will win the case is often where were you when you got hurt?  If you are in the company lunchroom for example and slip on a wet floor and hurt your knee, that would be a case as your employer gets a benefit from you refreshing at lunch and the risk that caused you to get injured was in the workplace.  So even though you are on a break, you are in the “zone of employment.”

On the other hand, if you leave the building to pick up lunch and get in a car accident or slip and fall at a restaurant, that would probably not be a case because you chose to leave the grounds and nothing about your job contributed to this happening.  Your employer benefits by you taking your break at the office.  They don’t when you leave, unless….

If you were picking up food for multiple people, that is a work errand and that would be a case if you got hurt.  If you are going to lunch with a client and get hurt that is also a case.  If you travel from client to client all day and get hurt while stopping for lunch, that could be a case.

Of course you can expect that the insurance company will deny your case and hope that you go away.  Don’t panic.  Just talk to us or some other qualified law firm and explain what happened.  We’ll tell you if you have a case or not and there is no fee to talk or for us to represent you unless we win the case.