What You Need to Know About Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace
Slip, trip, and fall injuries can happen anywhere, so it’s no surprise that these injuries often occur while at work. Every year, there are almost $70 billion in workers’ compensation claims and expenses associated with slip, trip, and fall injuries. Additionally, one-third of workplace injuries occur from falls, and they’re one of the main reasons why an injured employee may take time off of work.
Slip, trip, and fall injuries are very common, so you need to know what to do if you personally experience this type of injury, and you need to know what workers’ compensation benefits you could be entitled to.
What Should I Do If I Slip, Trip, or Fall at My Work?
Slip, trip, and fall injuries usually result from wet or unclean floors, floor obstacles, and multi-level floors. If you fall while at work, you need to:
- Seek immediate medical attention: You need to receive medical attention as soon as possible after your injury. Even if your injury doesn’t seem serious, you still need to receive medical attention because you could have delayed onset injuries. Additionally, delaying your medical treatment could also hurt your chances of receiving full compensation from a workers’ compensation insurance company. If you delay treatment, the insurance company may claim that your injuries weren’t serious and underpay or deny your claim.
- Tell your employer about the injury: After receiving initial medical treatment, you need to inform your employer about your injury. You should include the details about what caused your slip, trip, or fall accident, your injuries, and your symptoms. Failing to report your injury to your employer promptly can hurt your claim.
- File a workers’ compensation claim: Once you inform your employer about your injuries, you should receive forms to submit a workers’ compensation claim. In Louisiana, employees have one year to file for workers’ compensation after an injury, but you could hurt your claim by delaying, so you should file as soon as possible.
- Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer: Although receiving workers’ compensation should be a painless process, employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies often make it challenging for injured employees to receive the full compensation they deserve. If they underpay or deny your claim, you need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you receive full benefits.
Will I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
If your slip, trip, and fall injuries occurred because of a work task or you were following instructions from your employer or supervisor, you should qualify for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so even if you can’t prove that someone was negligent for your injury, you still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, there are cases in which employees may be unable to recover compensation for slip, trip, and fall injuries. If you were at work but you weren’t performing a work task at the time of your injury, you may not receive benefits. For example, if you slipped and fell while on your lunch break, you may have difficulty receiving workers’ compensation. Additionally, if you were fighting or horsing around with another employee at the time of your injury, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation.
What Benefits Will I Receive Through Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation supplies injured employees with money for medical bills and lost wages. Wage loss benefits could be temporary or permanent, and an employee could recover supplemental earning benefits if they return to work and they’re unable to make as much money as their pre-injury earnings. If someone receives supplemental earning benefits or disability benefits, they will receive ⅔ of their pre-injury wages. For example, if someone qualifies for total temporary disability benefits and they made $800 a week before their injury, they would receive around $533.33 in disability benefits. If they receive supplemental earning benefits, they would receive ⅔ of the difference between their pre-injury wages and what they earn currently. For example, if their pre-injury earnings were $800 a week and they now only make $600, they would receive ⅔ of the difference. The difference is $200, so they would receive around $133.34 in supplemental earning benefits.
Although workers’ compensation only covers medical bills and lost wages, you could receive additional damages if you can prove that your injury resulted from someone’s negligence. If you can prove fault, you could recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
Contact a Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Receiving the compensation you deserve for your slip, trip, and fall injuries can be challenging. Your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company may try to claim that your injuries weren’t serious or you weren’t performing a work task at the time of your injury. To ensure that you receive the full compensation you need for medical bills and lost wages, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC have years of experience assisting injured Louisianians with workers’ compensation claims. We specialize in workers’ compensation claims, and our expert knowledge and experience will help maximize the amount you can receive for your injuries. Call our New Orleans office at 504-788-2994 or click here to schedule a free case evaluation.