How to get compensation for a workplace slip and fall accident
Everyone slips, trips and falls from time to time. Many people aren’t seriously injured after a minor fall, aside from perhaps their pride. But occasionally, a slip and fall incident is serious enough to require medical care and days away from work.
Serious slip and fall accidents are actually more common than many people realize, accounting for roughly 15 percent of all accidental deaths in the United States (second only to auto accidents). In 2016, 697 workers died in fall-related accidents, and 48,060 workers were so severely injured in a fall that they had to take days off work. In fact, slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. A quarter (25 percent) of all reported work accidents are slip and fall injuries.
What’s more is that, on average, slip and fall injuries require workers to take more time off work, with nearly a quarter (22 percent) of incidents resulting in more than 31 days away from work. The cost of compensation for medical care and lost wages due to employee slip and fall accidents is estimated to be around $70 billion each year—clear incentive for both employers and employees to take workplace safety seriously.
Whether you’re hurt falling at home, shopping in a store, or on the job, such an injury can put substantial financial pressure on you and your family as medical bills pile up and you’re unable to work. If a slip and fall accident happens while you’re on the job or performing work-related duties, it falls under workers’ compensation law and should be covered by your employer.
However, Arizona claims involving slip and fall accidents at work aren’t always so cut and dried. A number of factors can impact your workers’ compensation benefits—including how the injury happened, when it occurred, what types of injuries you suffered (and how severe), who witnessed the incident, and if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. For this reason, it benefits you to discuss your case with an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney in your slip and fall case.
At the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski, we can make sure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. For 45 years, we have provided timely, dedicated representation to thousands of severely injured workers across Arizona.
Workers’ compensation is all we do, and we do it well.
Without professional representation, many injured workers fail to receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
After a slip and fall accident, workers often don’t say anything because they’re too embarrassed or think the injury is somehow their fault. Or perhaps they think they aren’t covered as an independent contractor.
Don’t laugh off a slip and fall at work. If you were injured on the job, talk to us about your workers’ compensation rights. It costs nothing to discuss your case with our experienced work injury attorneys and there are no upfront fees if you decide to hire us. You only pay if we are successful in obtaining your benefits.
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Common on-the-job slip and fall injuries
Slip and fall injuries can range from minor to severe—or even deadly—depending on the nature of the accident. Common injuries experienced by workers who slip, trip or fall on the job include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Muscle sprains and strains (soft tissue injuries)
- Cuts, scrapes and bruises
Causes of workplace slips, trips and falls
Whether you work on a construction site or in an office, it’s important to realize that slip and fall accidents are 100% preventable. Common causes of slip and fall injuries at work include:
Wet floors, uneven or broken flooring/stairs
Potholes or cracks
Clutter and debris on floor (cords, tools, etc.)
Inadequate warning signs
Top industries and occupations where slip and fall incidents happen
A fall can occur in virtually any workplace (even at a desk job), but statistics show they are particularly common in the following occupations:
- Manufacturing workers
- Service and retail employees
- Construction workers
- Maintenance workers, cleaners and janitors
- Truck drivers
- Warehousing laborers
- Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals
- Teachers and other education employees
- Government employees
- Tree trimmers and landscape workers
- Restaurant and fast food workers
What to do after an on-the-job slip and fall?
Regardless of where you work, what your job is or how you were injured, there are a few steps you’ll need to take if you fell at work.
Seek medical attention. First and foremost, get the medical treatment you may need if you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury. This might include going to the emergency room, urgent care facility, or scheduling an appointment with your doctor. Some injuries will be obvious (like a broken bone or shoulder injury), whereas others might be harder to detect in the beginning (like traumatic brain injury).
Notify your employer. After you’ve received emergency medical care (if needed), report the accident to your manager or supervisor as soon as possible. Your right to benefits may be reduced or denied if you fail to notify your employer promptly.
File a claim. Ask the doctor who saw you and evaluated your injury to file a claim on your behalf with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The claim must be filed within 1 year or you risk losing the right to any compensation. If your employer doesn’t assist you, you must file your own claim in writing to the Industrial Commission as soon as possible (certainly before the 1 year statute of limitations). Before you file a claim, however, be sure to follow the steps listed above by notifying your employer that you were hurt immediately after the injury producing event and seeking medical care.
Consult an attorney. Before you agree to benefits or if your claim is denied, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney near you to make sure you are being treated fairly. An experienced lawyer can ensure you receive the maximum compensation benefits possible.
Read more: How to Apply for Workers’ Comp
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Can you sue your employer for a slip and fall?
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident in Arizona, then you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to obtain benefits for medical bills and around two-thirds of your wages lost while you are treated and recover. The advantage of workers’ compensation is that you don’t have to prove that your employer was at fault for your slip and fall injury, nor does it matter if you were partially responsible for the incident — you should still be entitled to benefits.
The downside is that you generally cannot sue your employer for on-the-job injuries in a personal injury lawsuit since workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy.” There are a few exceptions that allow injured Arizona employees to sue their employer in cases of “gross negligence” (such as if a dangerous condition at work wasn’t fixed even after the employer was notified), but these rarely apply and often require the expertise of a knowledgeable work injury lawyer.
Arizona Workers’ Compensation GuideFREE E-BOOK
What do you do if you’re injured on-the-job? Our free guide contains knowledge to help the injured worker understand the workers’ compensation application process.
Mr. Wisniewski has been recognized as the premier workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona. He is the only claimants’ attorney recognized as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation.
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Talk to experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorneys
If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall accident at work, the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski can help secure the workers’ full and fair compensation you deserve.
A serious accident can be difficult to recover from, both physically and financially. We can help you file an injury claim with the Industry Commission of Arizona and fight to appeal a denied claim if necessary. We’re prepared to use our experience, expertise, resources and passion to make sure you get the compensation you’re owed.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
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While our main law office is in downtown Phoenix, we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Arizona – including Yuma, Kingman, Payson and Flagstaff.