Lunch Breaks

Chicago Attorneys Assisting Workers’ Compensation Claimants

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for people who are injured in the course and scope of their employment. Benefits may include payments for medical costs and lost wages from missed work due to the job-related injury or illness. When an employee suffers injuries on their lunch break, the employer may try to argue that the injury is not compensable, since it was the employee's personal time. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers represent employees who have been hurt on their lunch breaks. We understand the nuances of the applicable laws and the full range of benefits for which an employee may be eligible.

Employees May Be Entitled to Benefits for Lunch Break Injuries

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA), the legal remedy for workers injured on the job is set forth as weekly compensation, reasonable and necessary medical expenses, and benefits for any disability that arises. Workers’ compensation is an exclusionary remedy, so injured workers may not also pursue personal injury claims against their employer.

When an employee takes personal time, such as a lunch break, complicated legal issues may arise with regard to whether any resulting harm suffered during this break is covered by workers’ compensation benefits. The IWCA provides compensation for employees who are injured in the “course and scope of employment.” Accordingly, the specific facts of each case dictate whether a certain employee will be entitled to compensation after a certain accident.

Some of the main factors that may be considered in determining whether an injury is covered by workers’ compensation include whether the employee was on the employer’s premises at the time of the accident and whether they were performing a work-related task. During a lunch break, employees may remain in a zone of employment, such as a cafeteria. Moreover, even employees who leave the workplace for lunch may be running a work-related errand during this time, and they may suffer injuries that are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Another factor that must be considered when assessing eligibility for benefits based on a particular workplace injury is whether travel is part of the employee’s regular duties, such that it should be considered to be part of their job.

Contact a Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Chicago or the Surrounding Areas

Consulting an experienced job injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights following a workplace accident. It is common for Illinois job injuries that take place “off the clock” to be improperly denied by workers’ compensation insurance companies, but this does not mean that you should accept this outcome. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can assess your unique situation and provide knowledgeable legal advice and representation. We have also assisted injured employees in Springfield, Champaign, Rockford, Aurora, and Quincy, as well as other areas of Sangamon, Champaign, Cook, Kane, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Contact our office for a free initial consultation online or at (800) 444-1525.