What is an employer’s liability if an employee fell and was injured in the company parking lot while they were off the clock?

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2012

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What is an employer’s liability if an employee fell and was injured in the company parking lot while they were off the clock?

Left work off the clock at 9:30 pm. I went to walk a co-worker to her car in the employee lot as it was dark out. I ended up stepping into a pot hole in the company lot and then falling. The next day I was in so much pain that I had to go to the doctor. My GM told me I am not covered by WC and to take care of it myself through my insurance. I get that I was off the clock but the cause of the fall was the company’s lot and hole in it. If I were a customer I could file a case but am told I am an employee so I cant. I do not feel it fair that I have to pay for this.

Asked on March 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an employment law attorney. As a general rule, an employee has a worker's compensation claim or can bring a civil lawsuit. That is, when worker's compensation applies, the employee gets the WC instead of being able to sue; but when WC does not apply, he or she can sue. It is almost never the case that an employee cannot do one or the other. Therefore, you should consult with an employment law attorney to confirm whether you can seek worker's compensation (you don't need to take the GM's opinion at face value); and if you can't then either that attorney or a personal injury lawyer may be able to bring a lawsuit on your behalf, if appropriate.

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