Injury From Fall in Work Parking Lot Covered Under Workers Comp

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The case of Lincoln University v. Narens was decided by the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals on April 12, 2016. The injured worker hurt on the job worked for the university in a building on campus. After work she started walking to her car parked in a lot on campus employees were told to park in. She walked down a ramp, turned right onto a sidewalk leading to the parking lot, then stepped to the right to let some students pass. As she stepped to the right her foot landed on a steep edge of the sidewalk and her right ankle turned, causing her to fall to her left and break her left ankle.

When Narens hired an attorney to file a claim for Missouri workers compensation benefits the university as her employer denied it, claiming she was not actually working at the time she fell. Missouri workers’ compensation law says that for an injury to be considered compensable as work-related it cannot have been just as likely to have occurred due to a risk unrelated to the injured worker’s employment that the worker would have been equally exposed to outside of and unrelated to employment in normal nonemployment life. Employer’s defense lawyer claimed that the university worker who fell on the sidewalk should not be entitled to any workman’s compensation benefits because she would have been equally exposed to the risks of walking outside of work.

The administrative workers compensation judge who heard the case decided that the injured worker who fell on the sidewalk on campus on her way to the campus parking lot where her car was parked had fallen as a “result of an unsafe condition that [she] was exposed to due to her employment.” In other words, Ms. Narens would not have even been trying to cross that dangerous sidewalk if she had not been working at the university and needed to cross it to get to her car parked on a university lot where she was allowed to park.

It’s true that in the anti-worker, pro-employer 2005 amendments to Missouri workers compensation law specifically said the Missouri legislature deliberately intended to “abrogate” (end or undo) the so-called “extension of premises doctrine” where accidents occur on property not owned or control by the employer even it occurs on a route used by its workers to get to work. But in Narens’ case the university did in fact own and control the sidewalk where she was injured, whether or not she was actually working at the time or just on her way back to her car parked on a campus lot, and off work she would not have been exposed to the hazard of falling on it if she had not been at work then left work on her way to get her car parked on the campus lot.

This just goes to show that employers and their insurance paying Missouri workers compensation benefits will go out of their way to deny benefits if they think Missouri Workers Compensation Law gives them a good loophole they can use to get out of having to pay any benefits. Since the legislature passed many changes/amendments to the law to make it much harder for the workers injured on the job to get Missouri workers compensation benefits, she will very often have no choice but to hire a good Missouri workers compensation lawyer to file a claim and fight to get her all the benefits her company denied her because they thought the law gave them an excuse to deny it.

A good, experienced hard-fighting workers compensation attorney can gather up all the medical treatment records and send you the injured worker hurt on the job out for an evaluation by medical experts who will work in you the employee’s interests and enable you the injured worker to prove your case to a workmen’s compensation judge. That attorney will work to overcome your employer’s picky little excuses they always try to latch onto to deny you benefits. If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you.

If you get hurt on the job in the course of your work for an employer, you need to go consult and then hire a good attorney to fight for your rights to enforce your rights to workers compensation benefits that the company has denied you. Often as in Narens’ case employers and their workers’ compensation insurance have to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying you the injured even the most basic Missouri worker workers’ compensation benefits.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend your rights to workers compensation benefits and demand treatment and money benefits. We can help you fight to enforce your legal rights to benefits. Please call Tom Hyatt for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in either Jefferson County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Ste. Genevieve County, St. Francois County, Lincoln County, Franklin County, Montgomery County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 150 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Our consultations are completely free of charge. We can fight to keep the company from cancelling or underpaying or refusing to pay your benefits. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

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