Slip and Fall at Work: Who’s Responsible?
Falls are one of the most common — and dangerous — types of workplace accidents. When talking about falls in the workplace, it’s important to note that there are two main types of falls: falls from a height and falls on the same level. While not everyone will be at high risk of falling from an elevated height on the job, falls at the same level include trips and slip and fall accidents, which make them much more likely to occur in any type of business, even if it’s not typically seen as being a dangerous environment.
In 2017, Liberty Mutual Insurance reported that falls at the same level were the second most common cause of on-the-job injuries, accounting for 17.7% of all workplace accidents. While some people might be able to just pick themselves up and dust themselves off after slipping and falling, not everyone is so lucky. Slip and fall accidents have the potential to cause many different types of injuries, ranging from bruises to broken bones, muscle sprains, concussions, and injuries to ankles, shoulders, wrists, and elbows. Very often, injuries caused by a slip and fall accident can be debilitating, particularly when older people are involved.
Since slip and fall accidents are so common in workplaces, what happens if you’re involved in one? Is your employer responsible? Are slip and falls covered by workers’ compensation?
When slip and fall accidents happen in the workplace, they’re very commonly covered by workers’ comp. With a few exceptions, workers’ compensation covers any injuries an employee suffers while on the job, regardless of whether or not anyone was acting negligently. However, not everyone is covered by workers’ comp and there are a few situations where workers’ comp might not apply, so it’s important to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Workers’ comp benefits will help cover things like medical treatments, some of your lost wages while you’re recovering from your injury, and job retraining if necessary.
If your accident is covered by workers’ comp, you likely won’t be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. Although, if your slip and fall accident was caused by the negligence of a third party, you might be able to file a lawsuit against them in addition to getting workers’ comp benefits. If you aren’t covered by workers’ comp, a lawsuit against your employer may still be an option for you, so you’ll still need to talk to a lawyer who specializes in handling slip and fall accidents. They will be able to help make sure your case is handled correctly.
Whether your slip and fall accident is covered by workers’ comp or not, remember that it’s very important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. There may be a time limit to filing a claim over your injuries, so you don’t want to wait too long.