Who is liable for fall in a parking lot at work?

by Sandra
(Bozeman, MT, USA)

Last night while walking to my car from work at the hospital I fell and hurt myself quite severely. I had a similar injury about three or four years ago. The first time, I reported it to the hospital administration and they said it was a workers comp issue and sent me to occupational health to be treated.

After I had two separate visits, the "administration" came back to say that because I work for a physician who rents office space from the hospital, I had to claim under our business workers comp. Of course by then the 3 days reporting period was over and I ended up paying the bill myself. Now the same thing has happened again and I'm afraid to seek care.

Do I have any options? Which business is liable, the main hospital who maintains the parking lots and walkways, or my single physician's office? Thank you very much for any information.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Who is liable for fall in a parking lot at work?":

Sandra (Bozeman, MT, USA):

If your injury is a new and separate injury you may have recourse against the managers and owners of the parking lot. Also, because you were just leaving work at the time of the injury, you still may be able to claim under your employer's workers compensation policy. Because you file a claim under one doesn't mean you can't file under the other. They are not self-exclusive.

When it comes to pursuing a case against the management and owners of the parking garage you have plenty of time. The Statute of Limitations, or "time period" in which you have to file a case is two (2) years. That means unlike a workers compensation claim, you have a "pure" negligence liability claim against the managers and owners of the parking garage.

If you are sure the new injury is separate and apart from the previous injury you will have the basis of a solid civil case. If the new injury is a re-injury, or aggravation of the previous injury your claim won't be as solid.

The amount and type of medical bills will be the basis of your case as well. Without medical bills as a basis you really won't have much of a case.

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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