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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:

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Preventing Falls in the WorkplaceAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a lack of protection against falls is the most frequently cited safety violation during workplace inspections. Falls are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and are a threat in any working environment. Workers who suffer fall-related injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, as long as the incident occurred at work or as part of their job.

What Causes Falls?

Falls can happen from great heights or on flat surfaces. The cause can vary but often originates due to a lack of safeguards or carelessness by workers. Examples include:

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Unnatural Accumulation Determines Liability for Snow and Ice InjuriesThe coming of winter means we are nearing slip and fall season in Illinois. Snow and ice accumulation creates treacherous surfaces, which can cause us to fall despite our best efforts to remain safe. Falls can cause severe injuries, including broken bones and head trauma, which can affect you for years. When unsafe conditions on someone else’s property cause you to fall and hurt yourself, you can try to sue the property owner for negligence. However, Illinois law protects property owners from personal injury liability in most cases involving natural accumulation of snow and ice. To win the personal injury case, you will need to prove that the property owner created the conditions that led to your injury.

Natural Accumulation

According to Illinois law, property owners are under no obligation to protect visitors by clearing snow or ice from walking surfaces. This rule holds even if a municipal ordinance requires snow to be removed from walking services after a certain amount has accumulated. Thus, property owners are not liable for injuries caused by a natural accumulation of snow or ice on their properties. The definition of a natural accumulation includes:

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department store slip and fall, slip and fall case, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyersSlip and fall accidents are consistently one of the most common causes of personal injury in the United States. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Safety Council indicate that slip and fall accidents are responsible for almost nine million emergency departments each year. When slips, trips, or falls that result in injury are caused by someone else's negligence, injured victims are often legally entitled to financial compensation under Illinois law.

In order for people hurt in slip and fall accidents to recover, however, they must be able to establish that their accident was the result of someone else's negligence. In many cases, this requires the gathering of a significant amount of evidence. For this reason, it is critical for slip and fall victims to retain an attorney familiar with representing the legal rights of people hurt by the negligence of others.

There are several instances of property owner negligence that could potentially result in a serious injury-causing slip and fall accident. Some of the most common include the following:

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