It is not uncommon for employees to face hazards at work. Those who work in fast food may find themselves slipping and falling due to grease on the floor. Those who work in the automotive repair industry may find themselves slipping on automotive fluids. Even those who work in the relative safety of an office may slip and fall over loose tiles or carpeting.
No matter what your occupation or where you work, you may be at risk of a slip and fall. Should the worst happen and you become injured due to such an accident, there are a few things you need to know.
Your Employer’s Insurance
Almost all employers are required to carry worker’s comp insurance by the state in which they operate.
This insurance covers any losses that an employee may suffer due to an injury that was incurred while on the job. This insurance ensures that if you do slip and fall at work and incur medical bills and/or suffer lost wages because of the accident, you are financially protected from the resulting fallout of the accident.
There are criteria you must meet in order to qualify for worker’s comp insurance due to a slip and fall at work:
- You must have been on the job when the injury occurred. If you were on a lunch break or staying around off the clock when the accident happened, your likelihood of winning a slip and fall case drastically decreases.
- You need to ensure that you were following all company policy in regards to behavior when the accident occurred.
Some employers, for example, may choose to drug test an employee after such an accident. If you fail the drug test, not only do you risk losing the claim but you also risk losing employment.
Violating your employer’s policies during an accident can render your claim invalid, and it is in the insurance company’s best interests to investigate such claims to the best of their ability.
Determining Who Is At Fault
In all slip and fall cases, including those that happen while on the job, determining fault can be crucial to the outcome of your case. This is especially true if you do not live in a “no fault” worker’s comp state. If you are at fault for the accident when it occurs, chances are that you will receive no compensation from your employer or his or her insurance provider.
If, on the other hand, your employer was the one at fault, then you may be entitled to damages including the cost of medical care and damages for lost wages and pain and suffering.
If the slip and fall occurred while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you will not be entitled to compensation for the accident. The same is true if the accident occurred as a result of our intent to injure yourself or injure someone else.
If, on the other hand, the employer was truly at fault due to negligence and forcing you to work in hazardous conditions, the compensation you can seek may be much greater than that of a typical worker’s comp injury.
If the employer was beyond a doubt at fault, the case may escalate from a worker’s comp case to a personal injury case. Because of this, it is usually best to consult with an attorney prior to filing a claim with your employer and/or your employer’s insurance provider.
How an Attorney Can Help If You Fell at Work
If you fell at work, a personal injury attorney can help you with your claim. A personal injury attorney will help you make sure you gather and submit as much physical evidence as possible. A Personal injury attorney can help you make sure that all of you can get compensated for any lost wages, medical bills and loss of earnings.
If you fell at work, a personal injury attorney will be able to negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster on your behalf to make sure that you are fairly compensated. When you are in the process of hiring a personal injury attorney, make sure that you hire an attorney that has experience in slip and fall claims.
Filing a Claim against Your Employer
Filing a claim against your employer, whether it be a worker’s comp claim or a personal injury claim, can be a tricky and uncomfortable situation. The fear of retaliation may be enough to deter you from even filing a claim. This is why it may be in your best interests to consult with an attorney prior to filing a claim.
Not only will your attorney know whether your claim is best suited as a worker’s comp claim or a personal injury claim, but he or she will also ensure that your legal rights are protected and that the claim is filed properly.