Recovering workers’ compensation benefits for an injury requires that the injury took place while an employee was on the job. That may sound unnecessarily obvious, but in fact, it is a commonly disputed issue in Illinois workers’ compensation cases. In some cases, there is a significant grey area, where it is not always immediately clear whether or not an employee was actually at work. Illinois uses a legal doctrine known as the course of employment standard to resolve these disputes. If this is an issue in your work injury case, you need to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. You legal rights are on the line.
The Course of Employment Standard In Illinois
For an Illinois injury to be considered a workplace injury, and therefore an injury that is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, that injury must occur within the course of one’s employment. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act defines the course employment as worker activities which are done in furtherance of the interests of an employer’s business. So, an injury does not necessarily have to occur on the premises of a job site to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Many disputed workers’ compensation cases hinge on determining exactly how the course of employment standard is applied.
The Course of Employment Standard in Action
Applying the course of employment standard is often hotly disputed. Consider two possible Illinois examples:
- Off-duty police officers – Even while off-duty, police officers have a professional obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent a crime. So, if an off-duty police officer is injured while attempting to stop a robbery, they may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. This is because that effort falls well within the course of their employment duties. However, if the off-duty police officer is injured while attempting to stop a robbery, using tactics well outside of their normal employment duties, then they may not be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
- Commuting – Injuries sustained while commuting to work are generally not considered within the course of employment in Illinois. However, there are many exceptions which make this complicated. Travelling employers are considered to be within the course of their employment in Illinois. So, if a person is injured in an accident driving home from a one-time job site, or from a meeting in another city, that injured person may actually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois.
The bottom line is that the course of employment standard is a very case specific. If questions about course of employment arise in your Illinois work injury case, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. The specific requirements of your job position, and the circumstances surrounding your injury, will need to be comprehensively reviewed. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Contact An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Illinois workers’ compensation law is extremely complex. Even seemingly straightforward questions, such as whether or not the injury occurred while the victim was on the job, are complicated in many cases. Recovering full and fair compensation can prove to be a challenge. But, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help. If you have been injured on the job, you should have your case reviewed by a qualified work injury attorney as soon as possible.