I Slipped and Fell at Work – What Should I Do?
Bill Allen | July 5, 2022 | Slip & Fall Accidents
Falls are a leading cause of injury and death on the job. Falls at work include falls in construction and other slip and fall accidents. Employers have a duty to provide fall protection and take reasonable measures to provide safe premises to avoid slips, trips, and falls at work.
If you slipped and fell at work in Florida, report the fall to your employer immediately. Most work-related injuries are covered by Florida Workers’ Compensation Law. You must report injuries and accidents to your employer within 30 days of the accident date or the date your doctor told you that your injury was work-related.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents at Work
Slip and fall accidents at work can cause serious injuries. Common injuries caused by falls on the job include:
- Broken bones, including ankle, wrist, hip, and arm fractures
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, including damage to tendons and ligaments
- Sprains and strains
- Abrasions and cuts
- Shoulder and neck injuries
Death is another consequence of workplace falls. Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide. A person experiencing a fall at work could incur substantial medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Slip and Fall at Work
Most Florida employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ comp covers injuries and occupational injuries that occur in the ordinary course of employment. You can receive several benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Injured workers are entitled to medical treatment. Workers’ comp insurance should cover all reasonable and necessary costs of medical care after a workplace fall. Doctors’ bills, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and other expenses should be paid by the workers’ comp carrier.
Workers’ comp also pays wage replacement benefits. Employees are generally entitled to 66 ⅔% of their average weekly wages if they cannot work because of a fall at work. You are only entitled to wage replacement benefits for the first seven days out of work if you are out of work for 21 days or longer.
A worker who sustains a permanent disability or impairment because of a slip and fall at work could receive income benefits and other benefits for the impairment. Families may receive death benefits if a family member dies after a work-related fall.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip and Fall at Work?
Most employees cannot sue their employer for a work injury under workers’ compensation laws. They are limited to the benefits they can receive by filing a worker’s compensation claim.
However, there are some cases in which you could sue your employer for negligence under tort laws.
For example, if your employer does not have the required workers’ compensation insurance, you should be able to sue your employer for a slip and fall at work. Likewise, if your employer intentionally causes your injury, you might have a claim for damages outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Third-Party Lawsuits for Slip and Fall Accidents at Work
Property owners have a responsibility to provide safe premises. Therefore, if you are on the job and fall on another person’s property, you might be able to sue the property owner for damages under premises liability laws for a slip and fall case.
Why Would a Worker Want to Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident at Work?
Florida’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. Therefore, you do not need to prove that your employer was negligent or at fault for your injury to recover benefits.
Furthermore, comparative fault laws do not apply in workers’ comp cases. An employee can contribute to the cause of their injury and receive full workers’ compensation benefits. The exception would be if the employee intentionally caused their injury.
If you file a lawsuit under negligence or premises liability laws, you have the burden of proving the legal elements required to hold the party liable for damages. However, doing so could result in significantly more compensation than a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ comp benefits are limited. You only receive a portion of your lost income and no compensation for pain and suffering damages. A negligence or premises liability claim for a slip and fall injury could result in reimbursement for all economic damages (financial losses).
Additionally, you could receive compensation for non-economic damages. These damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Decrease in quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
There is no cap on the compensation you could receive in a tort lawsuit for a slip and fall accident. If you slipped and fell at work, you can talk with an Ocala workplace injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovering compensation for injuries and damages.
Contact Our Ocala Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
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