How Do Neutral Risks Affect Workers’ Compensation?

21 Aug, 2013
By: Donald W Fohrman
How Do Neutral Risks Affect Workers' Compensation?

How Do Neutral Risks Affect Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to any employee who suffers an on-the-job injury. In fact, workers’ compensation benefits may be available for injuries that are sustained outside of the workplace as long as the injury arose out of the course of employment.

For instance, a restaurant delivery driver who is injured in a car accident may be entitled to workers’ compensation even though the injuries were not incurred within the restaurant premises. Similarly, a traveling salesperson who is injured at a hotel while on a business trip may also be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) recently held, however, that when an employee is exposed to a neutral risk the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits only if he or she was exposed to a risk greater than the general public.

In Nee v. City of Chicago, 21 ILWCLB 34 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2012), a plumbing inspector was injured when he tripped on a curb and fell while returning to his car from a worksite. The IWCC denied the employee workers’ compensation benefits, however, reasoning that the employee did not provide evidence indicating that he was exposed to curbs in a more dangerous way than the general public. Because the curb upon which the injured worker was injured was not defective, the IWCC found that he was not injured due to a hazard.

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries that do not happen in the workplace can be more difficult to obtain since the injured worker will need to provide sufficient evidence that the injuries arose out of the course of employment. Oftentimes, this requires detailed information about the employee’s job duties, the condition of the premises where the accident occurred, and a number of other factors.

Because an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company and their attorneys will often seek to deny, reduce, or eliminate workers’ compensation benefits, it is highly recommended that an injured worker consult with an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.

The Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd. focus on protecting the rights of accident and injury victims, including the employees who have suffered on-the-job injuries outside of the workplace. We will handle your workers’ compensation by dealing directly with the workers’ compensation insurance company and/or their attorneys. If necessary, we will advocate on your behalf with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. We can help you get the compensation you need and deserve following a work-related accident, including worker’s compensation benefits, as well as any other compensation that may be available through a third-party action.

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, contact our office at (800) 437-2571 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. We offer 24/7 legal assistance to all of our clients.

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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