Each year, it is said that slips, trips, and falls cause 3.8 million disabling work injuries. This means that about 15% of all workers’ compensation costs stem from these types of accidents. How are slips, trips, and falls defined and how do they occur in the workplace?
Slips: These accidents occur when there is too little friction or traction between your footwear and the floor surface. In workplace accidents, the worker’s heel on the front foot will slip forward and the worker will fall backward. This can happen due to many different reasons, such as wet or dry contamination on the floor, loose rugs or mats, and walking surfaces that do not have the same degree of traction. Wet sources of contamination in the workplace usually include water, oils, grease, and soap from cleaning solutions. Dry contamination stands for dusts, powders, and objects like nuts and bolts that have been spilled.
Trips: These accidents occur when your foot strikes an object and you lose balance. Common causes include cords or clutter in walkways, obstructed view, taking a short cut, and uneven stairs. A small rise on a sidewalk may be enough for someone to stub their toe and slip and fall. Grinding down the raised edge on a sidewalk can cause these accidents to lessen.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
If you have suffered from a slip and fall accident, some of the most common benefits that you may receive include payments for medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and two-thirds of wages lost during treatment and recovery. However, there are some steps that you must take before compensation has the chance to come into play. For instance, you will file a “first report of injury” form and your employer will give you a list of company-approved physicians. The physician will evaluate you based on the injury and refer you to a specialist if it is necessary.
This is where workers’ compensation comes into play, because what they find will determine how your injury is “valued.” They will determine what is needed for treatment in the realm of your specific injury and go from there. The physician will make a determination of when you have reached a level of MMI (maximum medical improvement) and then you will receive a return to work form.
Some people will find that they have received a type of disability. Here are the specific types and what you should expect if this applies to your case:
Temporary Partial Disability: After a period of recovery, you can resume to your former job.
Permanent Partial Disability: You may be able to return to work, but you will not be able to do the same job. Your employer may choose a job that can accommodate your disability.
Permanent Total Disability: You will never be able to return to your job or do any other type of work.
Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
How is fault determined? An employee who contributed to his or her own injuries is still entitled to workers’ compensation. It is typically unnecessary to prove that the employer was negligent. However, there is an exception – the employee could not have caused the injury themselves, meaning it could not be intentional. This would end in a workers’ compensation claim being denied, as it is fraud.
Have you been injured from slipping, tripping, or falling on the job? You may be able to receive compensation that you deserve. Call us today for more information on how to handle your case. We have you covered in your time of need.