In general, accidents on the way to work or home after work are not covered under Illinois workers' compensation law. In other words, if you are riding the train or driving in your car and get in to an accident, you can't successfully file a claim (note there is a big exception to this rule which would be a whole other post so call us if this has happened to you).
When you arrive to work or leave at the end of the day and are in the parking lot, however, you can technically be considered to be working. If you have an accident from a slip and fall or anything else, you might be able to make a workers' compensation claim.
There are two key points to consider:
First, does the employer provide the parking lot for the employees? If they restrict where you can park (e.g. an employee designated lot) then an injury from a fall is probably a case. On the other hand, if it's a big public lot and you can park wherever you want, you are probably at no increased risk to that of the general public. If so then the chances of prevailing are tougher.
The second point is do they maintain the parking lot? If they own it and have to clean it or are responsible for the upkeep of the lot (even if they just contribute to it through rent payment) then accidents will probably be held to be work injuries.
This is all a very generalized statement of the law. It's also important to know that any accident that is personal to you would not be covered. In other words if you slam your hand in the car door that will never be an Illinois workers comp claim unless something about the job made that happen. Most of the cases we are able to succeed on involve slipping on something icy or wet.
Does this sound confusing? It can be. If you have questions about parking lot accidents do not hesitate to contact us.
We are workers' compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.