A bill has been introduced into the state Senate that would clarify the Illinois workers compensation laws.
The bill would make it so employers are exempt from paying Illinois workers’ compensation benefits if a worker is injured on the way to a job. The Illinois workers compensation laws would still hold employers responsible if a travel-related injury happened as part of a worker’s normal duties, but not while in transit to a place of employment or between jobs.
Proposed Changes to Illinois Workers Compensation
The issue arose last year when a worker who was on his way to a second job was severely injured in a car accident on an icy road. The worker was originally granted benefits under Illinois workers compensation. However, the Illinois Supreme Court decided in December that since the worker took the job accepting that there would be a long commute, he was not traveling for work.
The bill introduced in the state Senate would make this view into law: that unless a worker is traveling specifically for work purposes, the employer is not responsible for providing Illinois workers compensation benefits for any injuries that may occur. Still, the bill has yet to go to committee, so any action on the matter could still be weeks or months away.
This case of a worker injured during a commute highlights the complexities of workers’ compensation laws all over the country, not just Illinois workers compensation. The fact that this worker was originally granted Illinois workers compensation benefits only to lose them later means that some aspects of these laws can be up to interpretation.
That’s why it’s so important to contact an Illinois workers compensation attorney or a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. No one wants to be caught in a situation where they have overwhelming hospital bills and are left unable to work, just as no one wants to miss an opportunity because they didn’t have correct information or good counsel.