An Illinois transit worker was recently injured while working on repairing the Red Line train in Chicago. While the nature of the worker’s injuries was not initially disclosed, the worker was reported to be in good condition after the workplace accident. Shortly after the accident occurred, he was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The injuries of this transit worker give rise to an interesting question: What happens when a work injury occurs somewhere other than a routine place of business? Under Illinois workers compensation laws, injured workers covered by workers’ compensation are able to recover compensation for any injury arising from a required work duty. While it is clear that a worker who is doing work in an office or on a construction site can recover compensation for an accident that occurs on site, what about worker’s such as repairmen or traveling salesmen who suffer from an injury and who don’t have a normal place of business?
In such cases, a determination is made as to whether the workers injuries were indeed work related and happened as a direct result of a required work task. If the worker is doing something at the time of his injury that he does as a normal or routine part of his job, then the injury should be covered by workers’ compensation. If the worker has deviated from his normal work duties, such as when he is driving to lunch or commuting to or from work, then an injury that occurs during this time may not covered and may not be considered a workplace accident.
Because the transit worker was injured in the process of performing a repair, he should thus be covered by workers’ compensation for his injuries as long as he is an employee. This will entitle the injured Illinois worker to receive benefits, including payment of any medical bills. However, in similar incidents an injured worker would do well to consult an attorney experienced in handling workers’ compensation matters. The lawyer can assist in reviewing the facts and circumstances, advice as to all available legal options and help file and process claims to recover the benefits that are deserved.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “CTA worker injured in Red Line incident,” Oct. 31, 2011