Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims cover medical expenses for falling while performing normal work-related tasks. If you fall in an employer’s parking lot, however, workers’ comp may not cover you, as noted by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Claims based on falls on sidewalks, common areas or parking lots may cause employers to assert that the injuries did not result from on-the-job activities. To succeed with a workers’ comp claim, Pennsylvania requires proof of falling while engaged in a work-related activity or task.
The coming and going rule
As noted by the 2021 Workers’ Compensation Conference, under the coming and going rule workers’ comp may not cover accidents occurring while on the way to or from your workplace. Exceptions may exist, however, if your employer provided transportation, or if you acted to further your employer’s business operations.
To avoid disqualification under the coming and going rule, you may need to show the start and end times of your shift or special assignment. Your claim may also require a demonstration of how you fell while walking to an area where you could begin or complete your work tasks.
As described on the Penn State University website, unless otherwise noted on a leasing agreement Pennsylvania’s laws require property owners to provide a safe premises for tenants, employees and customers. Slippery ice or cracks in the ground, for example, may cause a fall that a landlord’s repairs or effective maintenance could have prevented.
If your employer rents the property where you work, and the landlord failed to provide safe parking and walking areas as stated in the lease, you may file a third-party legal action based on the property owner’s negligence. Your claim may need to describe how you fell and how the landlord could have prevented the accident.