In order for an employee to receive workers' compensation benefits, including (medical, disability and permanency benefits) an injury must arise out of his or her employment. That means that the employee must be subjected to a condition of his or her employment that created or constituted an increased risk of injury beyond members of the general public. What constitutes an increased risk of injury is a hotly contested topic and the subject of a significant amount of litigation. The workers compensation attorneys at Lipkin & Apter provide more insight in this article.
A recent case decided by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission demonstrates this point of law:
The employee worked as a manager at an area ice rink. The employee's job included opening the facility, turning off the security system, setting up the cash register, turning on the building power and managing the daily operations of the ice rink for the customers. One workday morning after customers arrived, the employee noticed that a video monitor in an area of the facility was not working properly. The employee attempted to fix the monitor by walking to the storage room where the computer that controlled the monitor was located. The storage room was littered with hockey equipment, storage boxes, trash, and supplies. While working in the storage room, the employee heard someone enter the front office of the ice arena and, knowing there was cash in the unattended cash register, quickly left the storage room and walked speedily toward the front office. The employee tripped over hockey equipment on the floor and injured his ankle and lower back.
The Workers' Compensation Commission reviewed the employee's job requirements and determined that the hockey equipment that cluttered the floor of the storage room presented an increased risk of injury to the employee and, combined with the employee's duties to protect and secure the cash register at the arena, exposed the employee to an increased risk of injury. The employee was, therefore, entitled to medical benefits, temporary total disability payments for his time off work, and a permanency award through workers' compensation. Niemiec v. Club Sports Consulting Group, 18 ILWC LB 71 (IWCC 2009).
For more information on workers' compensation and your rights after an injury, contact Lipkin & Apter. From our Chicago law firm, we have helped hundreds of clients throughout Illinois obtain compensation for injuries sustained on the job or as a result of their work.