Parking Lot Claims

RCW 51.08.013: The Industrial Insurance Act excludes parking lot areas from workers compensation coverage. The parking area exception does not mean that a claim will automatically be denied. The determining factors are whether the parking lot injury occurred while the employee was acting in the course of his or her employment, or at the direction of the employer; and if the injury occurred in a designated employee parking lot/area. In a nutshell this means that claims for injuries that occur in parking lots must meet specific criteria to be allowed.

The Department of Labor and Industries bases its decision to allow or deny a claim based on the following criteria:

  • The injury or exposure must occur in the course of employment.
  • The employee’s declaration of the injury or exposure via a Report of Accident.
  • The injury or exposure must be certified by an attending provider.

First and foremost, identify and eliminate hazards in your parking lot. This could be the condition of sidewalks or curbs, cracked pavement, tree roots pushing up the pavement, unidentified walking paths, wet leaves, or ice.

Parking lot claims can be difficult to adjudicate. There is a lot of grey area. In the event an employee reports a parking lot injury, or you have any questions, please email Monica at and be prepared with answers to the following questions.

  • Was the employee coming or going from work?

(2) If during the employee’s designated shift, was there a need to be in the parking lot?

(3) Was the parking lot designated for employee only?

(4) Did the employee’s work duties involve going to different work locations?

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