There are a lot of myths out there about Illinois workers’ compensation law. Most of these are started by insurance companies or employers who want to discourage you from receiving the benefits you are entitled to under Illinois work comp laws.
One myth that we hear a lot is that you have to be on the clock to have a successful case. It’s true that if you are off the clock your case will be investigated more thoroughly, but injuries off the clock can be cases.
For example, in a recent case, a security guard hurt her neck and back when a co-worker on a golf cart ran in to her. Before the accident happened she had clocked out for the day and was on her cell phone waiting for a ride. She was in a designated waiting area at the time.
The insurance company fought the case of course, but the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission ruled in favor of the worker. The employer told her to be in the area where she got hurt which, because other guards rode through there, exposed her to a risk of injury.
You can even be off the clock and at home and have a compensable case. There have been multiple cases throughout the years where someone brought home a box of work materials for a meeting or other reason and then hurt their back while lifting that box. Because the employer is benefiting from what you are doing, if you get hurt in the process you have a case.
There have even been cases where someone is driving to the grocery store after work and get in to an accident that it’s a work comp case. In that type of claim the worker would have company info on their car. Essentially they are never really off the clock because by driving around and promoting the company, the employer is benefiting from them. As a result, an injury in a car accident, even if you are just running an errand, would likely be a case.
Bottom line is that it’s always worth it to explore whether or not something about your job makes your injury a workers’ compensation case. It’s your right under Illinois law. We are always willing to give a free consultation to discuss if you have a case and what your options might be.