A South Carolina Supreme Court decision has ruled that under the “divided
premises” rule, an employee’s injury is compensable if he
or she is traveling between two parts of an employer’s premises.
In this blog, our Greenville workers’ compensation attorneys explain
the rule in further detail.
The state’s ruling comes from a case involving a professor who sustained
injuries walking to her car after work. She had been working in the library
on campus at the University of South Carolina and in order to get to her
car, which was parked in a university lot provided for faculty and students,
the professor had to cross the street. She was then struck by a car and
sustained injuries. Although the street and crosswalk are not owned by
the university, the library and parking lot are part of USC property.
The court found in the case of the USC professor, the divided premises
rule is especially warranted. As the employer, the university created
the need for the professor to cross a public street. The court also decided
that the university cannot take advantage of the benefits that come from
providing staff and students a place to park, and then attempt to remove
themselves of the responsibilities from the consequences of their decisions.
Misplaced Fears from Respondents
Those who argue the divided premises rule claim that it simply won’t
work under workers’ compensation laws. Respondents of the rule are
under the assumption that, so long as an employee is traveling between
two parts of an employer’s premises, any injuries that occur would
be compensable regardless of the reason they were traveling or the route
they chose to take. According to the Supreme Court, those fears are misplaced
– under workers’ compensation laws, the employee’s injuries
must still occur while he or she was fulfilling employment duties in order
for those injuries to be eligible for compensation.
If you’ve suffered from a work-related accent, you should not hesitate
to contact our trusted Greenville workers’ compensation lawyers.
At Christian & Davis, LLC we have nearly 100 years of combined experience
and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
Call (864) 408-8890 to
schedule your free consultation today.