Workers Compensation Claims for Slip and Fall Injuries on the Job
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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You generally can file a workers compensation claim after a slip-and-fall injury in the workplace. Workers compensation benefits are notoriously difficult to obtain, but if you file the proper type of claim under the proper circumstances, you can maximize your chances of success.
Workers compensation claims are made for injuries or illnesses that occur when performing job duties or that occur as a direct result of the employment relationship. There is no need to prove negligence or carelessness on the part of the employer, as there would be if you were to file a lawsuit against your employer. Even if your injury was caused in whole or in part by your own negligence, you would not be disqualified from workers comp benefits. The key to a successful clam lies in the connection between your activity and the employment relationship.
Qualifying for Workers Compensation
If you were on a lunch break when you slipped and fell, then your likelihood of recovering under the workers compensation system is reduced considerably. Typically, you need to have been working in order to qualify. For instance, if you slipped and fell while you were traveling to or from work, then you are unlikely to obtain the benefits that you seek. But if you were traveling from your job on a work-related errand for your boss, then workers compensation should cover your injury. Furthermore, it’s important that your behavior when you were injured was not in violation of company policy. Violating company policy is equivalent to getting injured while away on your lunch break; it renders otherwise-acceptable behavior unacceptable from a workers compensation perspective.
Workplace Injury Lawsuits against Third Parties
Most work-related injuries are handled through your state's workers compensation system. If you receive workers compensation benefits, you are usually precluded from suing your employer. However, if a third party, such as a company making a delivery, was responsible for the condition that caused you to slip, you may have a claim against that company. You'll want to speak to a personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction to be sure.
Evidence for Your Workers Compensation Claim
The length of time that elapsed between your slip-and-fall and your workers compensation claim may also affect the outcome of the claim. Regardless of the underlying cause, all workers comp injuries must be proven to result directly from the performance of work-related duties. If you slipped and fell, but then waited a long time before filing, then the evidence supporting your case may be reduced. Ensure that you have all the proper evidence when you file your workers comp claim.
To maximize the success of your workers compensation claim, speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and the details of your situation.