Can I Get Workers’ Comp If I Slip and Fall at Work?
Slips and falls are one of the top three causes of work-related injuries, joining overexertion and contact with equipment. According to the National Safety Council, these accidents account for more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries leading to missed work. If you?re one of the thousands that slip and fall while on the job, you may wonder about compensation for your injuries.
Generally, if you are hurt at work while in the course of your employment duties, workers? compensation insurance covers your claim, as required by Virginia law. All employers, who employ three or more part-time or full-time workers, must have workers? comp coverage. Whether your slip and fall will be a workers? comp claim, though, is fact specific and you may need the experienced workers? compensation attorneys at Lugar Law to help get all the compensation you?re due for your injuries.
What Events are Considered Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of workers? compensation claims in Virginia, according to state data. These types of workplace accidents not only are those where a worker ends up on the ground. Also classified as slips and falls events are those that occur:
- without falling because you catch yourself
- at the same level because you fell or tripped and hit an object
- by falling to a lower level
- from jumping to a lower level</li<>
Any of these events could cause injury on the job.
Common Causes of Slips and Falls
There are all kinds of causes for slips and falls at work and they sometimes be linked to specific conditions determined by industry. But a few of the most common are:
- Wet, Messy, or Slick Floors
- Ice or Snow Accumulation
- Poorly Maintained Stairs, Steps, or Ramps
- Uneven Flooring
- Construction Debris
- Bad Lighting
- Blocked Walkways and Paths
- Obstructed Views
Is Your Slip and Fall Accident Covered by Workers? Comp?
To prevail in a workers? comp claim for a slip and fall under the Virginia Workers? Compensation Act, your injury must have:
- occurred while you were at work or at a work-related function;
- resulted from a specific work activity; or
- happened suddenly at a particular time.
In short, the injuries you sustained had to have arisen because of your job. This is an important element when slips and falls are at issue. For example, just walking across a floor at work and falling might not necessarily trigger workers? compensation coverage. But if your job were to mop the floor and you fell while doing so, likely that would be a workers? compensation claim.
From the example you can see why it is so important to contact an experienced workers? comp attorney when you slip and fall at work. Our attorneys understand workers? comp law and personal injury law so that all possible avenues to recovery are covered. It is also a good example of why you don?t give a statement of how the accident occurred until you have legal advice.
Workers? Comp and Personal Injury
Sometimes, depending on the facts surrounding your slip and fall, you could have a claim through both workers? comp and in a personal injury case. The latter might arise because of the location or cause of your accident. If a third-party had liability in your slip and fall, then additional damages may be obtained through a personal injury lawsuit.
To illustrate, consider a sales consultant is visiting a client and as she?s walking through the lobby, she slips and falls because of uneven flooring. She is working and participating in an activity of her employment (visiting clients), so she likely is covered by workers? comp for her medical bills and lost wages. But for additional damages not covered by workers? comp, she may have a claim against the business owner she was visiting as well.
The interplay between workers? comp and personal injury is outside of most lay people?s knowledge. That is why you need legal counsel that understands both to maximize your recovery by obtaining a full and fair settlement of your claims.
Hurt at Work in a Slip and Fall? Call Lugar Law PC
Getting hurt on the job is a serious matter. You need time off to recover from your injuries but that means possible financial hardship. Fortunately, if your injury is covered by workers? comp, your medical expenses related to the accident will be paid and you will receive a portion of your wages while off. The Roanoke workers? compensation attorneys at Lugar Law PC can help you with your claim and if it?s not covered by the worker?s comp system or there are other negligent parties, pursue other avenues to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you are facing harassment or unlawful discrimination at your workplace or coping with a serious Employment Law issue in Virginia related issue or some other legal matter at your workplace, contact us at Lugar Employment Law.