Generally speaking, it may be difficult to receive a workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured in your employer’s parking lot. However, there are some exceptions. There are several conditions that must be met for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury that occurred in your employer’s parking lot.
If you are injured during the course and scope of your employment, in other words, if you are doing your job and are injured in the parking lot of your employer or any parking lot, the injury is compensable. This may be true even as you are walking from your car to the building or from the building to your car. The key factor here is the wording “during the course and scope of your employment.”
Second, normally the parking lot must be owned, possessed, or controlled by the employer. If this is not the case, and you were not performing your job, the injury is usually not compensable. What if you were across the street in an adjacent parking lot which was not controlled by your employer immediately before work? You slipped and fell on the adjacent parking lot before you entered the premises of your employer. This injury is usually not compensable.
The term “during the course and scope of employment” is essential in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. This is true even if an accident occurred in the parking lot of your employer.
For example, on your day off you bring your friends to your employer’s ice covered parking lot. You decide to show them your potential Olympic ice skating skills. You slip on the ice and break your leg. Is this a compensable injury? Probably not. Why not? Because you were not performing your job. It was your day off and the ice skating skills you were showing your friends had nothing to do with your job duties. The injury was not in the course and scope of your employment, even though it happened on your employer’s parking lot.
However, if your employer told you (as part of your job duties) to take some potential customers to the parking lot and impress them with your skating skills as a marketing gimmick for the employer, the injury would probably be compensable.
If you believe you have suffered an injury in the parking lot of your place of employment that you should be able to recover for under workers’ compensation, contact an attorney immediately to discuss the specifics of your case.