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If an employee slips on ice in the parking lot is the injury covered by workers' compensation?

It depends. When considering if this injury is covered by workers’ compensation, assuming that the injury requires medical treatment or lost work time, the employer should take into account whether the injury is work-related and, if so, review the “coming and going” rule.

An injury is generally work-related when it arises out of and in the course of the worker’s employment. It doesn’t matter whether the employee has clocked in or out at the time of the injury. An injury that occurs when traveling between work locations will generally be considered covered under workers’ compensation.

Under the “coming and going” rule, generally, if an employee is injured while commuting to and from a fixed site of employment at the beginning or end of his or her shift, this would not be a workers’ compensation injury. The “coming and going” rule ends once the employee reaches the employer’s premises.

An injury that occurred in the parking lot owned or controlled by the employer will generally be compensated, even if it occurred during normal commute or while on a lunch or rest break. If the parking lot is not owned by the employer, then the employer should contact its workers compensation carrier to determine whether to treat that particular injury as a workers’ compensation claim.

Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, and state courts vary in their interpretations of the “coming and going” rule and what is work-related. Therefore, an employer must review each case with its insurance carrier to determine if the individual is covered.


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