What is an accident?
At a fundamental level, an accident is anything that happens without intention or design. This is to say it could be any event that is unanticipated by the person the “accident” happens to.
According to Chicago Work Injury attorney, Mark Weissburg, “… in order for an accident to fall under the protections of the Workers’ Compensation Act it has to arise out of and in the course of the employment.” He went on to say, “Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to emphasize one thing. If your employer refuses to pay you benefits because they don’t think your accident qualifies under the Workers’ Compensation Act, find yourself a good Workers’ Compensation attorney and get their opinion.”
Workers’ compensation attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have seen work injury cases denied for many reasons – good, bad and no reason at all. But, let’s continue forward with work related accidents.
What does it mean for an injury to arise out of employment?
This is the subject of a lot of case law. Case law focuses on whether there is a causal connection between employment and the injury. So, you should be thinking… did some part of my employment lead to that injury? Another important factor in case law focuses on whether employment lead to an increased risk of being injured compared to the general public.
What is the idiopathic fall?
Idiopathic means that there is no known cause. Let’s say you are at work and you walk down some stairs. If you fall and there is no defect in the stairs or something that would have made you fall then it is likely that you do not have a compensable claim. This makes sense in theory, but it contradicts the second part of a work related accident – in the course of the employment. Don’t be discouraged, if the claim is denied get an Illinois workers compensation attorney.
According to work injury attorney, Mark Weissburg, “If there is anything about the stairs that contributed to the fall, or anything about the employment that contributed, you most likely have a compensable claim. Don’t give up.”
What are psychological claims?
Claims that are purely psychological, meaning that they have no physical component are generally very hard to show they arose out of employment. This type of issue will most definitely need to be pursued with legal help.
What does it mean for an injury to occur in the course of the employment?
This is the other part of the equation for an injury to fall under protection of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
We once again turned to Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates workers comp lawyer, Mark Weissburg, for a legal definition; “An accidental injury is ‘in the course of the employment’ when it occurs within the period of employment at a place where the employee may reasonably be in the performance of his or her duties and while fulfilling those duties or engaged in something incidental to them.”
Put plainly, this looks to the time when the accident happened. If the accident happened within a reasonable time before starting and after finishing actual employment then it most likely happened within the course of employment.
Issues arise in cases that involve employees who are injured while traveling on their way to and from work, cases at company sponsored events, etc. Needless to say, if your accident happened during normal work hours you should be ok. If the accident did not occur during normal work hours, you need to find the connection it had to your employment.