Everyone has had a day at work during which nothing seems to be going well. No one knows this better than a court bailiff who was recently denied workers' compensation benefits for a car accident that occurred when he left work to change his tie. This case may be informative for those in Illinois who are dealing with their own work-related injury.
While at work, the bailiff noticed that he put on the wrong tie when he got dressed for work. Rather than putting on the required blue tie in the morning, the man accidently wore a Christmas tie to work. After he spilled coffee on his shirt later in the day, he decided to go home to change clothes. While on the way home, he was involved in a head-on collision with a truck. The man's injuries required a month-long hospital stay.
Initially, the man's workers' compensation claim was approved, but was later reversed on an appeal. In the first hearing, the man was granted a benefit for his injuries, because he was required to change his outfit for work. However, in the appeal, a court ruled that he was not entitled to a benefit due to his state's "going and coming rule." The man was unable to receive a benefit because he had left his place of work and had not asked his supervisor if he could do so.
Illinois is a no-fault workers' compensation state, which means that an employee is entitled to some benefit if they are involved in a work-related incident, no matter who is at fault. The bailiff's case is a difficult one because it involves a very unique set of circumstances. Now that the man will not be receiving financial compensation for his injuries, he will be entirely responsible for his medical expenses.
When your workers' compensation claim involves a complicated set of circumstances, such as a work-related incident that occurs when you are not at your place of work, it is important to have a passionate advocate to represent your interests. Knowledgeable representation in a compensation hearing can mean the difference between receiving a benefit and having your claim denied.
Source: Business Insurance, "'Going and coming rule' makes worker's car accident injuries noncompensable: Court," Sheena Harrison, Feb. 13, 2012