One fairly gray area of the law involves injuries that occur when a worker slips and falls on ice on their way in to work. Some cases are fairly straight forward but all cases revolve around specific circumstances and there is no easy answer. It is almost always a legal question.
The clearest case is where you slip and fall on ice in a parking lot adjacent to your work and owned by your employer. Your injuries which occur as a result of an injury in this scenario are clearly covered by workers compensation. However, if the parking lot is not owned by your employer or you are on a city street or walkway near your job, the answer is not as clear and is very circumstance specific. Additionally, if you travel as a result of your job and slip on ice, there are also questions raised. Often these claims are denied by self-insured employers or the Bureau of Workers Compensation even when they should not be denied.
In the event the claim is denied, an appeal can be filed to the order or a request can be made for hearing in the event the employer is self-insured. A hearing officer will make a determination based on the specific facts as they relate to the injury. There have been multiple cases in the Courts dealing with this issue and often the decisions on what are seemingly similar cases have different results based on subtle facts analyzed by the Courts.
If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall and your claim is denied, you should consult with legal counsel to analyze the specific facts and determine if the claim is compensable. The workers compensation attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault and Schaffer would be happy to meet with you and discuss these issues.