Do I have a case for fall injury in a parking lot on school property?
(Danville, IL US)
On January 16th, 2014 I was leaving the school building walking to my car. The parking lot is school property, and had about 2-3" of snow on top of ice (not plowed or salted). When I reached my car I slipped and fell to my knees, and then to my hands. Some coworkers helped me get up. I called my husband and drove to the local emergency room to get checked over.
I previously had both knees replaced, so I was very concerned about damage to them. The x-ray didn't reveal any problems luckily with my knees, but the doctor did a closer exam of left wrist, which by that time (3-4 hours after the accident), was starting to hurt quite a bit. The doctor decided to put a splint on it even though the x-ray didn't show anything.
The doctor also said that a fracture might not show until 4-5 weeks later, and it might need an MRI to find it. The letter I just received is telling me that this is not a workers' comp case. My question is this, how do I know if this is in fact a workers' comp case? What can I do to get reimbursed for the doctors' bills? And what about days I have missed from work? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Do I have a case for fall injury in a parking lot on school property?":
Jeff (Danville, IL US):
From the facts you present your injury should be covered under workers' compensation. As long as you were leaving your job and walking directly to your car, and were still on your employer's property, you must be covered under either workers' comp or premises liability.
The injury for which you are seeking compensation appears to be a separate and independent one. Because you had no previous injury to your wrist, there can’t be any argument it was a pre-existing injury, and therefore subject to scrutiny by the workers' comp insurance company.
Look closely at the letter you received. If it's from the principal or vice principal of your school, you need to go above their head(s) to the school superintendent or chief administrator.
If you are still denied coverage, seek the advice and counsel of a local workers' compensation attorney. Most will not charge any fees until and unless they win your case. Even then, they only receive an amount designated by law. In workers' comp cases, that’s usually about 25 percent.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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