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Workers' Compensation and the Traveling Employee

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

traveling employee, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation AttorneysGenerally, an injured worker who suffers a work-related injury is entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. If an injury occurs at the workplace, there is an expectation that the injury qualifies for benefits. It is when a worker is injured at a different location, for example, at his or her home, that there is more of a question as to why the injury should qualify for benefits.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act provides for employees to receive benefits if the injury suffered arose out of and in the course of employment. Courts have interpreted this to mean that an employee is injured while engaged in a task or activity that is for the benefit of his employer or that is employer directed. While there are instances in which an injured employee may receive benefits, even when he or she caused the accident, he or she may not receive benefits if the employee was involved in an activity for his or her own benefit.

One such situation in which an employee may receive compensation while away from the workplace is as a traveling employee. A traveling employee is defined as an employee who travels away from the employer's premises as part of his or her duties. If an employee is traveling to a job site away from his or her normal commute to work, the employee may be covered if he or she gets involved in an accident or is otherwise injured as long as it is related to his or her employment.

While courts have found that a traveling employee was in the course of his or her employment from the moment the employee left his or her home until his or her return, the analysis is more in depth than that.

In one cases, Illinois courts found that a lady who broke her wrist a few feet from her home was eligible for workers' compensation benefits because she was a traveling employee returning home. However, in another case, a traveling employee who was injured while loading his car to drive to his employer's premises was found ineligible for benefits.

In deciding the latter case, the court looked at the path the employee followed while running employer errands, and other factors including the fact that at the time of the injury, he was loading a personal car, not a business car. No one factor is determinative when it comes to deciding if an employee's actions were for the benefit of the employer when the employee is injured away from the employer's premises. These cases are decided on a case by case basis.

 Contact an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney

If you suffered a workplace injury, then you should contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can fight for you while you recover. Contact the experienced Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a free consultation. We are available to meet with you at home if you are unable to travel due to your injuries.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapAct=820%E2%80%A0ILCS%E2%80%A0305/&ChapterID=68&ChapterName=EMPLOYMENT&ActName=Workers%27+Compensation+Act.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=6782003629241696543&q=arose+out+of+and+in+the+course+of+employment&hl=en&as_sdt=4,14&as_ylo=2015
Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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