Workplace slips and falls are a serious problem. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 800 workers died due to falls in 2020 alone. Many more experience catastrophic and life-changing injuries after a severe fall. While any employee can fall at work, those facing higher fall risks work in construction, manufacturing, retail, and warehousing.
Regardless of your line of work, experiencing a significant fall can change your entire life and cause unprecedented physical, emotional, and financial turmoil. However, knowing the best course of action after a slip and fall at work can preserve your legal rights and help to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits.
You do not have to fight for what you deserve on your own. Morgan & Morgan wants you to receive what you need to move forward with your life after a work injury. Our experienced slip and fall lawyers are waiting to hear from you. Contact us today for a free case review.
Common Causes of Slips and Falls at Work
Falls can happen in any workplace, whether in an office or on a construction site. According to the National Safety Council (NSC),136 workers died in falls on the same level in 2020. Construction workers are at a higher risk for falls from height. Employees often fall due to debris, liquids, or grease, making floors slippery and unsafe. Other causes of falls at work can include:
- Poor lighting
- Torn and bulging carpeting
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Lack of warning signs for hazards
- Uneven or missing stairs
- Wires and trailing cables
- Changes in levels
Slips, trips, and falls can result in workers having to spend weeks or even months recovering from broken bones, back injuries, or pulled muscles. In some cases, a severe fall can cause a spinal injury or head injury, leaving a worker permanently disabled. If you or a family member is affected, you could qualify for a slip and fall at work settlement.
Injuries From Workplace Falls
While many falls do not result in significant injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one out of five falls causes a severe injury, such as a broken bone or head injury. Older individuals are particularly affected. Common slip and fall injuries at work can include:
- Broken bones, such as hip, wrist, knee, and ankle fractures
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Slipped discs and fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
- Neck and shoulder injuries
Slips and falls can cause debilitating injuries and lead to astronomical medical bills, income loss, and other expenses. If you or a loved one experienced severe fall injuries at work, you could be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers could help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation process and secure a slip and fall at work settlement while you can focus on healing.
Recovering Benefits and Compensation for a Slip and Fall at Work
If you experienced workplace slip and fall injuries, you are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, in some circumstances, you could also file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Depending on the extent of your injury and impairment, you could be entitled to the following benefits with a workers’ compensation claim:
- Wage replacement payments
- All medical expenses related to the work injury
- Vocational benefits if you have to change jobs or retrain
- Death benefits (for the surviving family of a deceased worker)
However, getting a claim approved is not always as straightforward as it should be. Workers’ comp claims can be denied for various reasons such as lack of medical evidence, an employer disputing the claim, or the claimant missing an important deadline. Therefore, having an experienced attorney by your side can be advantageous, especially if you have to appeal a claim denial.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others can generally not claim workers’ compensation benefits if they get hurt at work. Employees are also ineligible for workers’ compensation when their employer is uninsured.
However, you could still recover a slip and fall at work settlement if another party is responsible for causing your accident and injuries. Examples of work injury lawsuits include:
- An employer caused the slip and fall due to gross negligence
- The employer did not have workers’ compensation
- A third party, such as a property owner or contractor, caused the slip and fall
A personal injury lawsuit can allow victims to recover compensation that is not available in worker’s comp claims, such as awards for loss of life enjoyment, inconvenience, and pain and suffering. Since it can be challenging to determine whether you can sue, consider getting legal advice to help clarify your options.
Uninsured Employers Fund
Workers whose employers are uninsured can be stuck between a rock and a hard place when seeking compensation for their injuries and financial losses. However, many states have uninsured employer funds, which offer benefits to workers ineligible for workers’ compensation. The benefits vary from state to state but can include:
- Partial wage replacement payments
- Medical costs to treat the work injury
- Benefits for the survivors of a worker who died due to the work injury