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Collecting Workers' Compensation After a Parking Lot Fall

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Collecting Workers' Compensation After a Parking Lot FallTypically around one-third of Illinois’ workers’ compensation claims during the winter are from injuries caused by slips and falls. Snow and ice present a hazard for any employees who must walk from their vehicles to their place of employment. Normally, a workers’ compensation injury must occur when an employee is on the clock or performing a work-related task. However, Illinois has a parking lot exception that allows employees to receive compensation if injured from a slip or fall in an employer’s parking lot.

Parking Lot Exception

Illinois courts have ruled that an employer must cover worker injuries that occur in a parking lot because it is an extension of the employer’s premises. It does not matter whether the employer owns the parking lot as long as it is the designated area where employees are expected to park. The court will also consider whether the employee is exposed to a risk of injury that is different from what a member of the general public would normally experience. For instance, a court once rejected a woman’s workers’ compensation claim because she parked in a lot that was meant for both employees and customers of a store. However, the court may have accepted her claim if the store had required its employees to park in a designated area.

Safety Measures

Employers are not required to clear their parking lots of snow and ice, but their negligence would increase the risk of employees being injured and filing for workers’ compensation. Attentive employers will have a contract with a professional snow removal company, as well as salt and sand on site to create safer walkways. They will also instruct employees about safe walking practices, such as:

  • Taking small and slow steps;
  • Wearing boots with treads for traction;
  • Watching the parking lot for icy areas or cracks created by the weather;
  • Keeping their hands free to maintain their balance; and
  • Knowing where runoff from snow piles may create patches of ice.

Contact a Crystal Lake Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Falling down in a parking lot can result in broken bones, contusions, and concussions. Even if you catch yourself before falling, you may tear or strain a muscle in the process. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will sometimes deny a claim for an injury that occurred in a parking lot, but appellate courts can overturn those rulings based on the parking lot exception. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive benefits after a slip and fall injury. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/WorkersComp/2013/4130049WC.pdf

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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