You may still be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits if you’re injured at work off the clock. Whether this applies to your case will primarily depend on if you were injured while performing your regular work duties, or while performing an action that was in the benefit of your employer.
When Can a Worker Get Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is insurance coverage aimed at compensating workers who are injured on the job. This typically applies to employees actively at work, but can also apply to employees off the clock under some circumstances. Cases are much easier when one establishes that they were working at the time of the injury.
However, you may still be able to snag compensation provided you can prove that your accident and injuries resulted from a hazardous working environment, even if you were not actively working when they occurred.
When Are Off the Clock Injuries Covered?
Off the clock workplace injuries are not anomalies. They can occur in various situations, including:
When Using the Company’s Parking Area
Slips, falls, and even car accidents can occur when using an office’s parking lot. If you are hurt when leaving or entering your workspace, a worker’s compensation attorney can help you get your rightful restitution.
When Resting or Taking a Meal Break
Illinois laws require employers to give employees rest periods, including a 20-minute lunch break. Research shows that breaks boost morale, reduce stress and lessen physical injuries because workers resume with more focus. However, if you get injured at work while on break, your injuries may still be covered if they occurred due to a hazard present in the workplace.
When Entering or Leaving the Workplace
Sometimes you might get into an accident on company premises just after arriving or leaving your shift. These accidents may result from carelessly placed machinery, congested offices, slippery floors, etc. It’s possible to get compensated even if you were off the clock during the accident.
You can seek compensation if you suffer harm while on job-related travel. The law requires compensation for injured employees while traveling to and from work, attending work-related meetings, delivering orders, conducting field surveys/sales, or traveling for other work-related purposes.
Time Limits for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
In Illinois, individuals injured at work have up to 3 years from the date of the injury to submit a workers’ compensation claim. Hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a workplace injury so you don’t forfeit your right to compensation benefits.
If you are wondering what kind of information a workers’ compensation lawyer needs, prepare to answer questions about the accident’s timing, where it occurred, and what you were doing.