The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) has decided a case of a nurse who slipped and fell during an authorized break in favor of the worker.
The nurse, who worked for the State of Illinois, was wearing a walking boot to compensate for an unrelated injury. She wished to go out to her car, which was parked in the employee parking lot, during an authorized break. A co-worker warned her of dangerous ice and snow conditions, but she chose to go to her car anyway, slipping and falling on the way back in and injuring her arm.
The arbitrator in the case denied workers’ compensation benefits to the injured worker, but the Commission reversed, ruling that the nurse had proved that her injury arose out of and in the course of her employment.
The Commission reasoned that the nurse was on an authorized break and did not take an unnecessary or unreasonable risk by going outside to her car, despite being warned of adverse weather conditions.
The IWCC operates the court system that decides workers’ compensation cases in the state of Illinois. Cases are tried by an arbitrator initially, and may be reviewed by a three-commissioner panel. Approximately 50,000 cases are filed with the commission each year. In 85 percent of cases, the injured worker is represented by an attorney, although many cases are filed as a settlement contract without a prior application, and in most of those cases, the worker is not represented by an attorney.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.