Liability for off the clock auto injury on employment premises?

by Mary

Me and my friend had finished our shift and clocked out for the night. When I got in my car to leave work I discovered my battery was dead. I asked my friend if he could help me jump my car.

While in the process, I had the car in gear and when the car was jumped it rolled forward crushing my friend in between his and my car. What is my company's legal obligation, because we were in their parking lot when it occurred? Is this a workers' compensation issue, or will my or his auto insurance cover this?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Liability for off the clock auto injury on employment premises?":

Mary (Utah):

Unfortunately, from the facts you present, it appears the injuries sustained by your friend, and resulting medical bills, will not be covered under workers' compensation.

The injury was clearly not sustained while your friend was discharging his work duties. Moreover, the evidence is clear you were the exclusive cause of your friend's injuries. He and you would be best served by filing an injury claim under your car liability insurance policy.

Additionally, your friend can file a claim with his HMO or PPO. It is unlikely your friend's car insurance will cover his injuries.

There is a remote chance your friend may have a claim against the owner of the parking lot, and the employer. To succeed in such a claim, your friend would have to prove the parking lot owner or employer could have prevented the injury, for example, if the parking lot was better lighted, or if it had security personnel in place, etc.

While such a claim is remote, the law requires property owners to keep their premises safe for those who may legally traverse it. If you could link the injury to the parking lot or employer's negligence in the maintenance of the parking lot, your friend may have the basis of an injury claim.

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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