Slip and Fall at Work Accident: What Happens If You Slip and Fall at Work
What if a slip and fall accident occurs at work?
If slip and fall refers to cases in which someone falls and suffers harm because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, wouldn’t this include the workplace? It does, and slip and fall injuries in the workplace happen often.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 260,610 workers in the United States suffered injuries associated with slip and falls in 2008 and 847 of those were fatal. Slips trips and falls result somewhere between 15-25 percent of all nonfatal workplace injuries, the highest frequency of injury.
Even more recently, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that 18% of the 1,176,340 nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work in 2020 were related to slips, trips, and falls. If you have slipped and fell at work, you understand that it can be a traumatizing, and oftentimes costly, experience.
We often think of slips trips and falls as minor, but they are sometimes serious and can result in permanent, even disabling, injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Back or spine injuries that may cause paralysis
- Muscle strains
- Death — someone dies in a fall on the job practically every day
Today, we are going to cover what happens if you experience a slip and fall injury at work so you can understand your rights and potential compensation after this type of accident.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall at Work
One of the first questions many people have after they’ve slipped at work involves their rights. Namely, if you slip and fall at work, can you sue?
Most on-the-job injuries are handled by your state’s workers’ compensation insurance, preventing you from suing your employer. You also don’t have to prove employer fault through workers’ compensation. However, although you do not have the responsibility of proving fault, workers’ compensation laws limit the amount you can receive.
Some states do not require workers’ compensation for small companies. But if your injury was caused by your employer’s intentional or reckless action, or the actions of a third party, such as another company making a delivery to your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that company.
You should always consult with a lawyer if you are the victim of a slip and fall accident. An experienced lawyer can advise you on your rights and responsibilities.
I fell at work, what are my rights?
It is only natural after a slip and fall at work to consider your rights. First, you can generally file a workers’ compensation claim for medical and wage benefits, regardless of fault. Additionally, you have the right to consult with a personal injury attorney who can assess your case, explore potential third-party liability claims, and provide legal guidance.
Consulting with a lawyer is perhaps the most important step for any slip and fall at work settlement. They will continue to advise you on your rights and any nuances of your situation.
Keep in mind that time limits apply, so prompt action is crucial. The time limit varies by jurisdiction and the type of claim. An attorney can assist in evidence collection, represent your interests, and seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more, depending on your specific circumstances.
How can I prove that my slip and fall accident was due to the employer’s negligence?
If you slipped and fell at work, it could be important to document that it was due to the employer’s negligence. One of the first things you should do is report the incident to your supervisor or HR department. Seek medical attention and document the accident and your injuries.
In situations when workers compensation does not apply, it’s important to establish negligence, meaning you will need to show that the employer knew or should have known about the hazardous condition, failed to address it and that this failure directly caused your injuries.
A lawyer can help you compile documentation and follow through with proving the accident was due to employer negligence.
Who’s Looking Out for You?
When a slip and fall accident occurs in the workplace it is usually due to the employer’s negligence.
For your safety and that of your co-workers, it is important to recognize slip and fall hazards. These are some things to look for:
- Cluttered floors
- Loose floorboards
- Defective sidewalks
- Parking lot potholes
- Poorly constructed staircases
- Torn carpeting
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
Slips trips and falls at work are preventable by following a few simple steps:
- Clean all spills immediately
- Mark spills and wet areas with signs
- Regularly mop or sweep debris from floors
- Remove obstacles from walkways, always keeping them free of clutter
- Tack or tape mats, rugs, and carpets that do not lay flat
- Always close file cabinet or storage drawers
- Cover cables that cross walkways
- Keep working areas and walkways well-lit
- Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches
Although your employer may have workers’ compensation insurance and in-house medical staff, you want to be sure that you aren’t rushed back to work too soon or that you are saddled with medical bills after a slip and fall injury at work.
To sort out your legal rights, it’s important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in your state. You want to make sure that you are given the proper amount of time off to heal and receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Your consultation with a lawyer is free, and you won’t have to spend any money out of pocket — either you get paid or you don’t pay at all!