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With the recent long winter and the series of snowstorms, there has been many workers’ compensation claims for falls on ice. For some reason, workers’ compensation adjusters tend to deny these claims. The adjusters often cite the “Going and Coming Rule.” This Rule stands for the proposition an employee is not covered for workers’ compensation while journeying to or from work. The employee is only covered once he/she reaches work.
The typical fall on ice scenario occurs when the employee parks his/her vehicle and attempts to journey from the parking lot to the place of employment. The employee falls on ice before reaching his/her destination and then files a workers’ compensation claim. The adjuster may deny it because the employee has not yet reached the place of work.
The Virginia Court of Appeals in Amercian Trucking Association, Inc. V. Stallings, Record No. 0980-09-4 (February 23, 2010) helped clarify the law in this area. In walking from the garage to the place of employment Stallings slipped on ice and suffered multiple injuries. The Commission awarded compensation finding Stallings’ accident occurred on the employer’s extended premises (“on the driveway in front of the building entrance”). The Court also cited the principle that employment includes a reasonable interval of time for entry and departure from the place of business. The Court also said the extended premises covers “common stairs, elevators, lobbies, vestibules, concourses, hallways, ramps, footbridges, driveways or passageways….”The Court basically said if the injury occurs on the only means of ingress and egress to the place of employment then it is compensable.”
Hopefully, this case will be seen by claims adjusters and falls on ice will no longer be denied in Virginia. Claims adjusters should now know when an employee falls on ice on the employer’s extended premises Workers’ Compensation Insurance should cover the accident. of course, if the claim is denied, the employee should consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
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This may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers in Virginia. This note is designed for general information only. The information presented in this note should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Source by Jerry Lutkenhaus