If you are injured in a car accident while running a work-related errand outside of normal business hours, can you receive workers’ compensation for your injuries? In Illinois, the answer is yes, depending on the particular situation.
A case heard by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission involved a car accident in which a director of investment was injured. Her job required her to promote her employer’s business, so to spruce up her employer’s booth at a business exposition, she decided to buy a rug after business hours. En route to the store, which was not on her normal route home, she was involved in an injurious auto accident.
The commission considered a number of important factors in finding that the woman should receive workers’ compensation benefits. First, her job often required her to run work-related errands after business hours, as well as take part in events such as the business exposition. Also, at the time of the car accident, she was engaged in an activity specifically meant to benefit her employer.
The commission also found that the woman was going to the store specifically to buy the rug, not for personal reasons. This was made especially clear by the fact that the store was out of the director’s way home from work.
In short, her injuries were work-related and occurred while she was fulfilling her duties as an employee.
It may come as a surprise to some people when their employer challenges a workers’ compensation claim. Virtually every worker in Illinois is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but to get the full coverage they need, injured employees will need to be fully aware of their legal rights.