The Illinois Appellate Court Workers’ Compensation Commission Division addressed the question of when a traveling employee’s travel actually begins.
The case, Pryor v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, concerned a worker who was injured while moving a suitcase into his personal car while still at his home in preparation for a work trip. The appellate court found that while there is a lower threshold of reasonableness concerning the actions of a traveling employee, in this case, the worker was not a traveling employee until he reached the premises of his employer.
The claimant in the case was employed by a transport company as a truck driver, delivering new automobiles to car dealerships. His work responsibilities included loading cars onto a semitrailer at a terminal in Belvidere, Illinois, driving the truck to various dealerships and unloading the vehicles. The worker would usually drive his personal car to the terminal, and would bring a suitcase when he anticipated an overnight stay while on the road to the dealerships.
The claimant injured his back while loading the suitcase into his personal vehicle. The appellate court found that the truck driver’s injury did not “arise out of” or occur “in the course of” his employment, and he was therefore not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Each case is different, and injured workers should never assume that they do not have a case. Instead, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.