Work Injury, Falling in Unlit Employer Parking Lot
by Richard (Tucson, AZ)
I work for a transportation company; working the grave-yard shift. The parking lot where employees park their personal vehicles has recently been set with railroad ties to separate the roadway from the parking area. The parking lot is not lighted. We have asked management many times to provide lighting for safety; the company has elected not to provide lighting.
A number of employees have stumbled, tripped on the railroad ties. I had the misfortune to trip on one of these railroad ties. I fell on my right side, injuring my right shoulder, right hip and right knee.
I have filed a workers compensation claim and have been receiving treatment and physical therapy. The knee and shoulder are not responding to treatment. As a result of the failure to heal, I have had an MRI. I am awaiting results on this. My next appointment with the doctor is Tuesday to review the MRI and discuss further medical action.
Do I have a valid claim for injury compensation beyond what is covered by Arizona's workers compensation law? If so, what is the best course of action I should consider?
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ANSWER for "Work Injury, Falling in Unlit Employer Parking Lot":
In most cases, you are not permitted to sue your employer. Workers' compensation laws are generally no fault, making a determination as to whether the employer's or the employee's negligent behavior caused the problem irrelevant. But there are exceptions, so you should speak to a P.I. lawyer in your state as soon as possible.
You may be able to sue a third party for a workplace injury. Does the employer own the property or is it leased? If they had a construction/paving/etc. company who negligently performed work in the parking lot you may be able to go after them. Or if the leasor improperly maintained the property by not lighting it, they could be negligent.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.