What You Need to Know About On-the-Job Injuries and Workers’ Comp

Jordan suffered a compound leg fracture while working on a construction site in Chicago. Sienna was hurt while working at a large manufacturing plant, but her injury occurred in the parking lot before her shift started. Then there’s Max. He and his co-workers thought it would be fun to horse around with the baler in the warehouse – until someone got hurt. Jordan, Sienna, and Max are about to learn what they need to know about on-the-job injuries and workers’ comp.

What is workers’ comp?

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Act”) set up systems for workers to receive compensation for their on-the-job injuries and occupational diseases. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”) manages the judicial processes that help with disputed claims.

What counts as an on-the-job injury?

According to the Commission’s Handbook on Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases:

“…accidents that arise out of and in the course of employment are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This generally means that the Act covers injuries that result in whole or in part from the employee’s work.”

For example, Jordan was performing his usual duties on the construction site when a pallet of heavy beams tipped over on him. His compound leg fracture happened while he was at work, caused in whole from his work. Workers’ compensation should cover his injuries.

Does it matter where an on-the-job injury occurred?

Employees in the following situations usually are covered by Illinois workers’ comp benefits:

  • Workers employed by an Illinois company but injured in another state.
  • People working for out-of-state companies but injured in Illinois.
  • Workers whose job usually is localized in Illinois but were hired somewhere else.

Some situations may seem work-related, but still do not qualify for workers’ compensation because of when or where they occurred. For example, workers’ comp usually does not cover employees injured in a parking lot or while commuting before or after a shift. Just being in the parking lot does not qualify as being on-the-job. Still, if you feel your injury should be covered, please contact us to discuss what happened.

Who is eligible for workers’ comp?

Almost every Illinois worker qualifies for benefits. However, some exceptions do not qualify:

  • People who receive commissions, like salespeople or real estate agents.
  • Independent contractors.
  • Certain business owners and corporate officers may exempt themselves from being covered by workers’ compensation laws.

By the way, on-the-job injuries usually qualify for benefits even if the worker was at fault. One exception to this relates to horseplay. Sometimes employers can refuse to pay benefits to workers injured because they were playing around and not performing their jobs. For example, Max’s friend was seriously injured when they were playing with warehouse machinery. He may not receive benefits because he was hurt while engaged in horseplay.

Call to learn more about on-the-job injuries and workers’ comp.

At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with personal injury claims. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the State of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County, and Will County.

Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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