Posted On: March 26, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Industrial Commission Awards Benefits to Worker Injured in Trip and Fall Accident in Employee Parking Lot

The Illinois Industrial Commission awarded benefits to a claimant who tripped and fell after finishing her shift, leaving, and then going back to the workplace. The employee fell in the company parking lot. She worked for North American Lighting.

The woman was a shift factory worker. She worked on the second shift. On the day of her work accident, she clocked out at 1:30am and went to her motor vehicle. She got into her car and moved the vehicle closer to the building. She went back into the building, used the bathroom, and got a candy bar and a cup of coffee.

The claimant tripped and fell over a parking curb as she went to the vehicle. The woman claims that she did not see the curb because the lighting in the parking lot was dim.

Based on the personal comfort doctrine, the arbitrator awarded her benefits and a majority of the commission affirmed this decision. The outcome of this workers’ compensation claim affirms going back into one’s workplace to use the facilities after one’s work for the day has ended is considered a reasonable and foreseeable act per the personal comfort doctrine. This means that her work injury is covered under Illinois’s workers’ compensation law.

The Personal Comfort Doctrine
The personal comfort doctrine allows an employee to engage in certain acts essential to one’s comfort and health while at work and during a reasonable period of time before the actual work begins and ends. Examples of actions that could fall under the personal comfort doctrine: include taking occasional work breaks, and getting something to eat or drink.

Factory worker assembles compensable claim for parking lot injury, Risk & Insurance, March 19, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Contact our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm to discuss your work injury claim.

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