The reality is that many Illinois work comp cases are not 100% straight forward. By that I mean most cases aren’t caught on film or have an insurance company giving you everything you want. Even when it’s crystal clear that you were hurt at work, at some point the insurance company will try to fight you or limit your benefits through an IME, surveillance or just denying your claim for no reason.
In some cases, the initial facts can cause good cases to get denied because they look a little off. The best example I can give of that is when someone is injured after clocking out.
If you are an hourly worker, while your pay may be tied to when you are clocked in or out, it doesn’t work that way when it comes to Illinois workers’ compensation law. Let’s say your shift is done at a hospital and you’ve clocked out from your nursing job. You are walking out of the facility when you hear a co-worker asking for help with a heavy patient. You aren’t a jerk, so you go over and help lift that person and injure your back. That would be a good work comp case because your actions are benefiting your employer.
Even if you’ve clocked out and aren’t doing job duties, you can still get benefits if you get hurt. I’ve seen workers who punched out and then while walking down a hallway slipped on a wet floor. Any resulting injury would be a good Illinois workers’ compensation claim. That’s true because you had to walk down that hallway as part of your job and the wet floor put you at an increased risk of injury. The fact that you weren’t “working” when it happened is irrelevant.
This can also be true if you are hurt before you start your shift. Any of the same facts I listed would have the same result of you having a good case. If you are required to park in an employee parking lot and get hurt their at the start or end of the day, you’d likely win too.
You can even potentially get benefits when you are nowhere near the job site. The most common example is if you have a job where you drive a company car that has an advertisement for the business on the vehicle. Your job is promoted by your driving so accidents in that car could be considered work related.
Where you don’t win when you are hurt off the clock is when you greatly deviate from the job. By that I mean if at the end of your shift you stick around and have a bunch of drinks, falling off your chair wouldn’t be a great case for work comp.
Bottom line is that you should talk to a lawyer about any accident, no matter what the insurance company tells you. We are happy to discuss your situation for free any time. Call us at 888-705-1766. We handle cases all over Illinois.