Auto Worker Accidents in the Employee Parking Lot

Chicago Lawyers for Employees Injured on the Job

Injuries that occur on the job are covered by workers’ compensation in Illinois. However, sometimes injuries happen in an employer’s parking lot either before an auto worker clocks into the office or factory or after the auto worker leaves for the day. If you were injured in an auto worker accident in the employee parking lot, a skillful Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether your injuries fall under an exception to workers’ compensation laws.

Auto Worker Accidents in the Employee Parking Lot

There is a parking lot exception to the general rule that injuries sustained going and coming from work are not compensable through the workers’ compensation system. Illinois courts permit a worker to obtain benefits if he or she suffers injuries in a parking lot that the employer provides. The rationale is that the employer’s premises include the parking lot, where the employer provides employees with parking. So, for example, if you arrive at your job and get rear-ended in the parking lot by a coworker due to black ice and suffer severe soft tissue injuries and a ruptured disc, such that you need to stay home disabled for a week, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for that.

However, there is a lot of nuance around this exception, and over time state appellate courts have refined this area of law. The employer’s ownership of the parking lot doesn’t matter. The employer need not be in control of maintaining the parking lot with particular acts in order for workers’ compensation to apply. In one instance, where an entire parking lot was available to customers and employees, an Illinois appellate court reasoned that an injured worker could not get benefits because he wasn’t at greater risk than the general public. However, an appellate court has also found that an injured worker who slipped on ice was at greater risk than the general public where the employer required the worker to park in a specific place on the parking lot.

The law on workers’ compensation for injuries sustained in the parking lot varies, making it best to consult an attorney about your particular situation. How you were injured in the parking lot, and to what extent you were doing something for your employer at your employer’s behest could affect whether you recover workers’ compensation benefits. It is likely your injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation if you slipped on ice or snow in a parking lot where your employer told you to park.

Benefits

The workers’ compensation benefits you may be able to obtain depend on the types of injuries you suffered in the parking lot. If you broke a bone and hurt your back such that you can’t work for a few weeks, you may be able to obtain temporary total disability benefits. On the other hand, if you fall and suffer spinal cord damage in the employee parking lot, such that you can never work again, you may be able to obtain permanent disability benefits.

Consult a Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system through which you may be able to recover a wide range of benefits. These benefits are not equivalent to the compensation you might recover in a personal injury lawsuit, but you also don’t need to prove your employer’s fault in order to recover them. If you are an auto worker injured in an accident in the employee parking lot in Chicago, you may face some resistance in seeking workers’ compensation benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our lawyers represent auto workers in their workers’ compensation claims in Quincy, Champaign, Aurora, Rockford, and Springfield, as well as Winnebago, Kane, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Champaign Counties. We will also review the facts in your situation to evaluate whether other relief, such as damages in a personal injury lawsuit or SSDI may be sought. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online.