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Does Workers Comp Apply Before and After Work?

Posted On June 19, 2020

Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, certain injuries that occur “off-the-clock” are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, as long as there is a direct link between work and the injury.

Off-The Clock Injuries

Many work-related injuries that occur off-the-clock are denied by workers’ compensation insurance providers. However, certain types of injuries are actually covered under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. There are several conditions listed that may be covered by workers’ compensation, if there is a direct association between the employee’s work and the injury. If a workers’ comp claim is improperly denied under these conditions, an Illinois work injury lawyer can investigate the claim.

Most off-the-clock claim denials state the worker was not working when the injury occurred, so workers’ compensation benefits do not apply. Common denials include claims for the following:

Before and After Work

Injuries that occur before and after work are considered “off-the-clock” injuries that an employer should not be held accountable for. However, before and after work injuries that occur on the employer’s premises are treated differently. These types of injuries are almost always covered, even though an employee is not technically working, as long as the injury is caused by a workplace condition that presents a hazard.

Lunch and Rest Breaks

Most injuries that happen during lunch and rest breaks are covered by workers’ compensation, as long as they occur on company property. Common injuries include slip and falls on wet or slippery floors caused by spilled liquid, food, or damaged carpeting and cuts and abrasions from broken glass.

Business Travel

Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, workers who travel out of town or out of state for work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries that occur while traveling to and from a worksite, in a hotel room or restaurant, at a work-related conference or meeting, and making business deliveries or sales calls may be compensable.

Parking Lots

Injuries that occur in parking lots are often denied by workers compensation insurers due to controversy over who owns the parking lot. If the parking lot belongs to the worker’s employer or is specified as an employee parking lot, accidents and injuries are usually covered. If a remote city parking lot is commonly used by workers, but it not designated, injury claims will likely be denied. A Chicago work injury lawyer can review the claim and file an appeal with the proper Illinois authorities.

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