What to do if a friend fell in a parking lot walking from work but her employer told her she could not file a worker’s comp claim as she was off the clock?

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What to do if a friend fell in a parking lot walking from work but her employer told her she could not file a worker’s comp claim as she was off the clock?

Is there a “coming and going” clause for workers comp? The parking lot was in disrepair and the employer is not responsible for maintenance. They were aware that their employees had to park in lot and walk to get into the building and that the parking lot presented a slip and fall exposure however.

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the friend was not working at the time--so, for example, her workday had ended and she was headed for her car to go home--then she would not be eligible for Worker's Compensation; Worker's Compensation is not insurance for injuries occuring at the employer's location, but rather comensation for injuries incurred in the course of work.

However, if she cannot file a Worker's Compensation claim, she may be able to sue: property owners have an obligation to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner. If the parking lot's owner (either the employer or the landlord, for example) has allowed the parking lot to get into disrepair and its due to that disrepair that your friend fell, she may be able to sue that person or business. Of course, since you can only sue to recover medical costs, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury, and "pain and suffering" for serious injuries, if she was not hurt or only slight hurt, it would not be worthwhile to sue.


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