On-the-job injuries are covered by Illinois workers’ compensation laws, which provide that an employee is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. But what about injuries that happen while an employee is on a break or off the workplace premises – are “off the clock” injuries covered by Illinois workers’ compensation laws?
The good news is that most break-time injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your break involves an activity that is for your own personal comfort or health, such as eating or using the restroom, then the accident or injury might still be considered an “on the job” injury and will be covered by workers’ compensation laws. For instance, if you suffer a burn or food poisoning while using the employer’s cafeteria, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injury.
There are some exceptions to this general rule, however. If, for instance, the injuries occurred while an employee was engaged in an activity that is not generally performed during a work break, then the injured worker may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation isn’t limited to those accidents and injuries that are sustained in the workplace premises. For instance, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident while walking to your car in the company parking lot during a break, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation because you were still on the job. Additionally, if you are a traveling employee and are injured in a slip and fall accident in another location – perhaps even another city or state – while engaged in work-related travel, you may still be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Although “off the clock” injuries – including lunch breaks, break-times, and business travel – may still be covered by workers’ compensation laws, insurance companies often deny these claims at the outset. A skilled Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer like those at Ankin Law Office, LLC can help to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.