I find it interesting that people with Illinois workers compensation questions seem to call with similar situations in bunches. Yet I was very surprised recently to get two calls within an hour from two different people who had seizures while working in Illinois.
The first person was walking down the hallway when he had a seizure. It was a normal work day. They hit their head, busted it open and got a handful of stitches when they went to the hospital.
The second person had just finished pushing a machine when they had the seizure. They too hit their head. Their injury was a pretty bad concussion.
Unfortunately neither of them had a case. Let me explain why.
Under Illinois workers compensation law, to get benefits if you have a seizure at work, it’s not enough to just prove you were working when you had a seizure. You must also show that something about your job duties put you at an increased risk of injury.
While I’ve never seen it happen, if a neurologist or other expert would testify that something about your work increased your risk of having a seizure, then you’d have a case. The most common reason would be if you had a separate head injury that was work related. This could increase your risk of having a seizure at a later time.
The more common way to win work comp benefits after a seizure would be to show the injury from falling was worse because of your job risks. Typically this means someone who works in an elevated manner like a ladder or a scaffold. If you fall farther down because you are on a ladder, your injury is worse. So even though the seizure wasn’t caused by the job, if the injury is made worse by the job duties that would be enough for you to win. If you were driving when you had a seizure and were hurt in the crash, you likely would get benefits then too.
The other way to win would be if you fell in to something that caused an injury. For example if you fell in to a machine that was spinning and cut open your head that way, that could be a case.
In general these are difficult cases to win, but we can usually tell you with a five minute phone call if you will win or lose. If you want to review a case for free, you can call us any time at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois and will speak to you at no cost and in confidence.