Slip and Fall at Work: Am I Eligible for Workers Compensation? | Scott Goodwin Law

Slip and Fall at Work: Am I Eligible for Workers Compensation?

by / Wednesday, 07 February 2024 / Published in Workplace Woes
People in reflective vests working on repairing a roof.

Falls are an extremely common cause of injuries and deaths on the job. Every year, fall-related violations are among OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited safety violations. In the 2022 fiscal year, OSHA listed fall protection as their most frequently cited violation, followed by ladder-related violations as their third most frequent citation and fall protection violations as their eighth most frequent citation. (All three of these violations were specifically in the construction industry.) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 13% of all fatal workplace injuries in 2021 involved people who had fallen from an elevated height. 

With how common falls can be in the workplace, can you get workers compensation benefits if you’re injured because of a fall on the job? Yes, workers compensation generally does apply if you fall at work. 

The workers compensation system allows eligible injured workers to collect benefits for injuries and illnesses either caused by their work or if their work aggravates or contributes to a condition. This includes coverage for wage loss and medical expenses, but it can also include vocational rehabilitation for those who are unable to go back to their old job because of their injuries and funeral expenses for fatal accidents. As long as a person’s injuries or illness is connected to their job, whether it’s a permanent/long-term condition or a temporary issue, it can be covered by workers comp. It’s also important to note that eligibility for workers compensation does not depend on employer negligence, so you can potentially get benefits even if you were injured as a result of something that was a genuine accident and not because the employer acted improperly.  

However, to be able to get workers compensation benefits, you need to be an eligible worker. This means you are classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor. (Part-time employees are included.) Independent contractors can include freelancers and people who work as part of the “gig economy,” such as drivers for services like Uber and Doordash. In some cases, employers misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should be considered employees. If you were injured on the job and believe you may have been misclassified, don’t hesitate to contact a workers compensation lawyer for help. You may also be ineligible for workers compensation if an injury/condition were caused by intentional misconduct. 

Contact a Michigan Workers Compensation Lawyer

Workplace injuries and illnesses can be complex matters. If you were injured on the job, it’s important to call a lawyer for help as soon as possible to make sure your claim for workers benefits is handled correctly from the very beginning. Even if it seems like your employer is being cooperative, it’s still good to have someone on your side who knows the law and can help you get all of the benefits you’re entitled to. At Scott Goodwin Law, we’ve helped people who have been in your position and are ready to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Image: iStock / sturti