With the winter season just around the corner here in New York, employers and carriers will inevitably see an increase in slip and fall claims. Here are three things to know when evaluating compensability of these claims before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board:
- Accidents that occur in a parking lot used by employees may be found compensable if the Board finds that there was a sufficient nexus in time and place between the parking facility and the employer’s premises. For example, if the employer owns/maintains the parking lot, encourages its employees to use it as a designated parking area, or the parking lot exists solely to provide access to the claimant’s workplace, the resulting injuries are generally deemed compensable under New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.
- Accidents that occur in public areas away from the place of employment and during non-work hours are generally considered not to have arisen out of and in the course of employment.
- With regard to accidents that occur near a claimant’s place of employment, the resulting accident will likely be found compensable under New York State Workers’ Compensation Law only if there was (1) a “special hazard” at the particular off-premises point (one not shared by the general public); and (2) a close association of the access route with the employer’s premises, in terms of coming and going, such that the accident can be seen as having occurred as an incident and risk of employment.
Whether to accept or deny these types of claims will highly depend on the facts of each situation. We recommend conducting an immediate and thorough investigation, and reaching out to defense counsel to determine compensability.