Fractured Ankle From Falling on Black Ice in a Parking Lot...

by Jackie
(Buffalo, NY)

I was walking into work when I slipped and fell on black ice in the parking lot. I fractured my ankle which required surgery, screws and a plate. The parking lot is owned and maintained by another owner (not my employer).

The parking lot sits in front of the thruway which is always busy and the wind blows onto the lot, keeping it slippery even when there is no snow on the ground. The employees have complained to management previously about the ice.

The same morning I was injured another co-worker fell, also injuring herself. The people who maintain the parking lot were then called out to salt the area. Most mornings the lot is salted after we have already arrived to work and not before. This seems negligent to me.

Do I have a legitimate 3rd party claim against the owner / operator of the parking lot? Would I qualify for a workers compensation reimbursement since I was walking to work at the time? Any info you could give would be appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fractured Ankle From Falling on Black Ice in a Parking Lot...":

Jackie (Buffalo, NY):

From the information you’ve provided you may have not one, but two valid 3rd party claims: one against the parking lot management company and another against the property owners.

In the State of New York there are two legal theories related to injuries while an employee is en route to or from work. The first is called the “Premises Exception,” and the second the “Proximity Exception”.

The Premises Exception allows workers to be covered under workmans compensation for injuries they sustained walking into or leaving work IF the employer provided a parking area for his employees on his own property. Unless your employer had some percentage of ownership in the parking lot where you fell you are not covered under this exception.

The Proximity Exception allows workmans compensation benefits if the parking lot where an employee fell and was injured is not on the employer’s property, and not owned by the employer, but the parking lot is fully or partially managed by the employer and the employer receives some financial benefit from its management.

Regrettably, unless you can prove your employer received some benefit through his management of the parking lot you won’t be eligible for workmans compensation benefits under this legal theory either, but you still may have a 3rd party claim against the parking lot owner and/or manager.

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,

Judge Calisi

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