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I fell at work. Under what circumstances should I file a claim?

If you fell at work, it’s important to know under what circumstances you can file a workers' compensation claim.

If you were injured while performing job duties, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Since this is a no-fault system, the cause for an employee slipping or falling typically doesn’t matter. Workers can file a claim whether they were at fault or their employer is to blame.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim if You Fell at Work

For instance, let’s say the worker wasn’t paying attention while walking on an elevated surface and loses his/her balance, falling off the edge. Or the employee fails to properly secure a harness while on scaffolding and falls. The worker could still file a claim even though he or she is at fault.

No-fault applies to the employer and coworkers as well. It could be that the employer is aware of a liquid substance that has leaked onto the floor and didn’t ensure that it was properly cleaned up, which could result in an employee skidding and injuring his or her back. This is but one of many circumstances that could be considered valid for a worker to file a workers' comp claim.

Of course, there are circumstances under which a workers' comp insurer may deny a claim. For instance, if an employee was intoxicated while on the clock and suffered a slip and fall, the insurer may deny benefits. Likewise, if the accident was the result of roughhousing, the insurer may deny benefits.

One other option that might be available to an injured worker is a third-party claim. Accidents that occur at work but are caused by a third party’s negligence may allow for the recovery of damages via a lawsuit against that third party.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available in a Slip and Fall Accident

Benefits could be available for partial earnings if unable to return to work. Workers who can return to work in a diminished capacity and at a lower-paying job may also be entitled to workers' comp benefits.

Medical benefits are also payable under workers’ comp. These cover treatment costs associated with the work injury such as care received in an emergency room, X-rays, hospitalization, medication and more.

Although most people are able to get back to work, a fall from a significant height could cause permanent disability. In such cases, permanent disability benefits may be recoverable as well. With a variety of choices and complex issues that can arise in this type of work accident, workers may benefit from legal counsel.

An attorney can evaluate the circumstances of the slip and fall and determine an employee’s right to pursue workers’ comp benefits. Or if the employer or its insurance company tries to wrongly deny the claim, an attorney can assist with gathering the necessary records and documentation to appeal the decision.

Contact Markhoff & Millman if you're pursuing a workers' comp claim after falling at work. Call us for a free consultation: 855-614-4351.

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