Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Traveling Employees and Illinois Work Injury Lawyers
Since 2001, findgreatlawyers.com has helped thousands of people find the right Illinois work injury lawyer for their case. Our staff of attorneys will speak with you for free, answer your questions and try to point you in the right direction. We can’t guarantee a result, but do promise to treat you as if you were a family member or friend. If you would like our help please contact us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614. We are based out of Chicago, but help everywhere in Illinois. All communication is confidential.
Under Illinois workers' compensation law, you are generally able to get compensation if you get hurt while traveling for work. Whether you’re driving to a job site 10 minutes from the office or flying across the country for a client meeting, your travel is considered work related because it’s for the benefit or your employer. So, if you get hurt along the way, or once you are there, you should be eligible for Illinois workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include payment of medical bills as well as compensation for lost wages if your injury causes you to miss work.
Even if you aren’t actually doing work when get hurt, you may still be covered. The key is whether it's reasonably foreseeable that you would be doing the activity that led to your injury. If you're on a business trip and you slip and fall while leaving your hotel to go out for dinner, you should be covered. However, if you get drunk at dinner and get hurt as a result, you’re probably out of luck.
In some cases, injuries sustained while doing something recreational during a business trip are covered. In one example, an employee was in Hawaii for work and got hurt riding a bike in a volcano in his free time. He was covered. Again, it’s foreseeable that you would do some sightseeing in your free time. Employers can’t expect that their employees will work the entire time or be stuck in their hotel when not working.
Employees who are injured on their way to or from work are generally not covered under workers' compensation. Your daily commute is considered an activity outside of work. However, if you leave work to run errands for your boss, that would probably be covered, because it benefits your employer. Or, if you can show that you were being paid for the travel time, or that you were benefitting your employer by transporting work materials in your car, for example, you may have a good argument for getting benefits.
Finally, if you usually work in another state, but are injured while traveling for business in Illinois, you can pursue Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. This is true even if the insurance company tells you that your benefits will be paid based on the laws of another state. From what we have seen, Illinois has the most friendly work injury laws in the United States so if you can pursue your case here it is probably a good idea.
The line separating work and non-work activities, or what is foreseeable and what is not, isn't always clear. The best thing you can do is to hire an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure you get the benefits to which you're entitled. If you have any questions about these laws or would like a referral to an Illinois work injury law firm that can help you, please contact us for a no cost consultation. Our staff of attorneys would be happy to speak with you. All inquiries are confidential.