In Illinois, if you suffer a work-related injury, then you generally are entitled to receive payment of workers’ compensation benefits. That’s true whether your job caused your injury or even if your job simply made a pre-existing condition worse. Of course, to get those workers’ compensation benefit payments, you have to go through the right steps. You have to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits properly, including doing so before the deadline mandated by the law. You also have to provide the right proof that shows that you suffered a compensable injury (or aggravation of a pre-existing injury,) and that your job caused that injury or aggravation. Doing this can be very complicated and challenging. With something as important as your much-needed benefit payments on the line, don’t leave your claim to chance. Protect yourself by retaining the services of a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.
N.H. was a Chicago-area worker facing that kind of need. She was a police officer for a Chicago suburb when she got hurt. For many people, training means sitting in a conference room or large ballroom and listening to a speaker give a lecture. For police officers like N.H., training meant something much more physical. During a December 2014 training session on “defensive tactics,” N.H. allegedly sustained an injury to her shoulder, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Your injury doesn’t have to be at work to be ‘work-related’
N.H.’s case is very instructive for lots of Illinois workers. Most people probably know that a worker can potentially recover workers’ compensation benefits if she is injured while she is actually “on the clock.” However, what happens if I’m off-duty, you may wonder? The law says that there are a significant number of scenarios where you may have been off-duty but still have been engaged in an activity that was “work-related” – which means that an injury suffered during that activity could still possibly entitle you to receive benefits.
N.H. was not on patrol when she got hurt – she was participating in a training activity. Nevertheless, the activity in which she was participating was something connected to her police work and something that benefited her employer. When these things are true, an activity often meets the legal standard for “work-related” and is potentially compensable.
Say, for example, you were driving a company-owned truck from your home to work. Your supervisor told you, on the way in to work, to pick up some materials from a secondary site and bring them with you to the primary work site. On the way, you were hurt in a vehicle accident. Often times, commuting to or from work isn’t considered to be “work-related,” but in this case, because you were doing something extra for the benefit of your employer (picking up the materials,) your accident might potentially entitle you to receive benefits.
As another example, say that your employer was hosting a holiday party and your supervisor made it clear you were expected to attend. While at the party, you suffered an injury. This might very possibly be a “work-related” accident that would entitle you to benefits.
If you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, it is very possible you will face pushback – either that you weren’t injured or that your injury was not work-related. That’s why it pays to have effective legal counsel on your side from the start. For this kind of skillful advocacy, retain the knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys are here to help you work your way through the process, overcome the pushback you receive and get the benefits you deserve. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.