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Slip and Fall at Work | Everything You Should Know

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Slip and Fall at Work | Everything You Should Know

Slip-and-fall accidents happen every day. As minor as a small trip can seem, these accidents can be very dangerous. In 2021, 850 people died after falling at work. 

Call Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers if you have a slip and fall at work. Our firm can investigate the facts of your case and work with your employer to get you compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Should Cover Your Damages

If you are hurt at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover your costs and injuries. Pennsylvania law requires that nearly all employers provide this coverage for their employees. This insurance covers almost all accidents at work, regardless of who is responsible for the injury.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall at Work

If you are hurt on the job, you must follow the strict workers’ compensation process. Failing to do so can prevent you from recovering anything from your injuries.

Report the Incident to the Employer

Notify your employer or supervisor about the incident within 21 days. This serves as the initial step for potential workers’ compensation claims. Provide specific details about the incident, including when, where, and how it occurred. Your employer must share this information with their insurance carrier.

Get Medical Attention

You need to see a doctor soon after your injury. Do this even if you think your injuries are minor. You can ensure you don’t have any serious injuries and get medical records to support your claim. That said, your employer’s insurer must approve which doctor you visit, so be sure to coordinate with them. 

Document the Scene

If you can, take photographs of the area where you fell. Try to find any contributing factors to the slip and fall, such as leaks or bad flooring. This visual evidence can be invaluable in supporting your workers’ compensation claim.

Speak with an Attorney

Lawyers can help protect your rights and assist you with the workers’ compensation process. They assess your damages and negotiate with the insurance carrier for compensation. If the insurer denies your claim, your attorney will handle the appeal. 

What Benefits Can I Receive After a Slip and Fall at Work?

Your employer’s insurance carrier must pay for any damages you sustain because of a workplace injury. Slip and fall injury compensation can include:

  • Lost wages—reimbursement for lost wages due to a workplace injury or illness;
  • Medical expenses—covers all necessary healthcare costs related to a workplace injury;
  • Temporary total disability—provides an average weekly wage if you can’t work while recovering from an injury;
  • Partial disability benefits—compensation if your injury lowers your earning capacity;
  • Specific loss benefits—benefits for the loss of a body part or other physical impairment; and
  • Death benefits— financial support for things like funeral expenses.

An attorney can help determine which benefits you qualify for and how much compensation you can receive for each.

Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip and Fall?

No. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law shields employers and coworkers from liability for workplace injuries. However, you can sue your employer if they don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. Depending on your situation, there may also be third parties responsible for your accident that you can file suit against.

What If the Insurer Denies My Claim?

Once you notify your employer of your injury, it will inform the insurance carrier. Within 21 days, the insurance carrier will approve or deny the claim. 

You can file a Claim Petition for Workers’ Compensation if your claim is denied. This begins litigation between you and the insurance carrier. A judge will hear the merits of your claim and decide whether you can receive workers’ compensation. 

If the judge denies your claim, you might be able to appeal it to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. However, these appeals are rare because they require the court to make errors during the hearing.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents at Work

Falls can happen anywhere, anytime, no matter how safe your workplace seems. Here are some of the most common slip and fall causes in Philadelphia. 

Wet or Slippery Surfaces

Many workplaces use concrete and tile flooring that becomes slippery when wet. Some causes of slippery surfaces include: 

  • Spills. Employers can spill liquids or substances on walking surfaces. In busy and dark places, these spills can be impossible to see.
  • Cleaning activities. Mopping and polishing can make the floor slippery. Employees should put up signs until the area is dry.
  • Weather conditions. Rain, snow, and ice can spread throughout interior and exterior walkways. Using salt, floor mats, and anti-slip mats can mitigate these weather-related risks.

Wet floors are some of the most harmful slip-and-fall causes because they are hard to see. Employers must be proactive to prevent these accidents.

Uneven Surfaces

Worn-out, damaged, or uneven flooring surfaces can contribute to tripping hazards. For example, carpets and tiles can loosen with age and cause an employee to lose their footing. 

Employers must ensure proper installation of all flooring and conduct regular inspections. This can help identify issues and make repairs to keep the workplace safe. 

Inadequate Lighting

Poor lighting can hinder visibility and increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. Employers should ensure all areas are well-lit, especially staircases, hallways, and common areas. Moreover, employers should have backup lighting to guide workers during emergencies.

What Injuries Can Happen After a Workplace Slip and Fall?

Workplace slip and fall incidents can lead to a range of injuries, varying from minor bruises to more lifelong impairments. Some common slip and fall injuries include:

  • Muscle strains and sprains. The sudden impact of a slip and fall can result in muscle strains or sprains. These injuries often affect the back, neck, or limbs and can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
  • Fractures and broken bones. A fall can lead to fractures or broken bones, particularly in the wrists, arms, ankles, or hips. The severity of the fracture depends on the force of the impact and the part of the body affected.
  • Head injuries. Head injuries, including concussions, can occur if the head makes contact with a hard surface during a fall. Even seemingly minor head injuries can have serious consequences, requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries. Falls can result in injuries to the back and spinal cord, ranging from strains to more severe damage. These injuries can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, or, in extreme cases, paralysis.
  • Bruises and contusions. Bruises and contusions are common after a slip and fall. While often less severe, they can still cause pain, discomfort, swelling, and discoloration.
  • Sprained ankles or wrists. Twisting or hyperextending limbs during a fall can result in sprained ankles or wrists. These injuries may require rest, rehabilitation, and, in some cases, medical interventions.
  • Cuts and abrasions. Sharp objects or uneven surfaces can cause cuts and scrapes during a fall. Proper cleaning and treatment are essential to prevent infection.

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation does not cover pain and suffering damages. You may experience mental anguish and physical pain after a fall, but the insurer may not compensate you for this harm.

Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Rosen Injury Justice Lawyers can help you after a slip and fall at work. Our attorneys will help prepare your claim and show the insurance carrier why you deserve compensation. Our firm has recovered millions for injured Philadelphians, and we are ready to help you.Contact us online or call today to schedule a consultation.

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