Follow Us    |Facebook

Call or Text for a Consultation


New Legislation Looks to Stop Benefits for Non-Work Injuries

Posted on in Car Accidents

In 2006, a pipe fitter named Gerald Daugherty was hired in a temporary position at a power plant close to the Quad Cities. Since Daugherty lived in Springfield at that time, he decided to move closer to his job in order to avoid a long commute of 200 miles. One morning, while he and a co-worker were on their way to the plant from a local motel, his car hit a patch of ice and crashed.

workers compensation IMAGEDaugherty suffered severe injuries from this car accident and sought workers compensation benefits to alleviate struggles to pay medical bills while recovering. After reviewing his case, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission ruled that he should receive compensation even though he was not at work at the time of the accident.

Last December, the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed the decision. With a vote of 6 to 1, Daugherty was denied workers compensation benefits because he made a personal decision to relocate to the motel near his job. The ruling made a distinction that a personal decision is very different than a directive from an employer.  The dissenting vote was cast by Justice Thomas Kilbride who believed that Daugherty should be classified as a “traveling employee” given his temporary status at the power plant.

Now, lawmakers in Illinois will try to pass a new bill to clarify when employees should be awarded benefits for workplace injuries. State Senator Kyle McCarter of Lebanon presented Senate Bill 2622 to amend the current workers compensation law in Illinois. The bill specifies that the employer would be liable “if the injury arises out of and in the course of employment while he or she (the employee) is actively engaged in the duties of employment.”

If you are injured in the course of employment, then you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation can include medical, disability and rehabilitation benefits depending on your situation.  If you have suffered an injury on the job, then contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in Orland Park to review your case today.

Back to Top