While some work-related injuries are fairly straightforward, others may be more difficult to identify. A person who is struck by a falling box in a storeroom—on the clock and on company property—has undoubtedly suffered a work injury. However, injuries that occur away from work, off the clock, and slowly over time may also be considered work-related injuries under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. So what exactly is the definition of a “work-related” injury?
Injuries That May Qualify for Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Most courts consider an injury to be work-related if the injury resulted from actions you performed on behalf of your employer or during the course of your employment. In order to claim workers' compensation, you must be able to prove that there was a connection between your employment and the injury you have suffered.
Common work-related injuries include:
- Sudden trauma, such as falling from a ladder during construction work or spraining an ankle after tripping on uneven carpeting in the company conference room
- Occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure on the job
- Car accidents during work-related travel, while running an errand for an employer, or other journeys that are not an employee’s regular commute
- Repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome caused by computer use or back injuries due to repeated lifting
- Accidents at work-related functions, such as sports injuries at the company picnic or falling from the deck of an employer-sponsored social event
- Certain off-the-clock injuries, such as accidents on lunch breaks or before or after shifts caused by defects on company property
- Injuries away from the company property, such as accidents during meetings away from the main employment site or sustained while an employee is traveling for work
- Pre-existing conditions that have worsened during the course of employment, such as old knee injuries or back injuries that have been aggravated by the physical demands of the workplace
- Mental injuries (such as anxiety or depression) that have arisen as a result of a compensable physical injury
If you have suffered an injury in the course of your employment, our workers’ compensation attorneys can advise you on your next steps at no cost to you. Contact Tapella & Eberspacher today at (217) 394-5885 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.