When Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall at Work?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional falls cause the death of nearly 40,000 Americans every year. Many of these accidents happen on the job or while completing work-related activities. When this happens, many people think to talk to their work employer about filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you slip and fall at work, it might be that someone else is responsible for your accident and should be financially responsible for making the situation right. In some situations, a workers’ comp claim is not the only recourse you as an employee might have. You might have a personal injury claim against a third party, which may be pursued along with a typical workers’ compensation claim.
If you would like help with your third-party claim following a workplace fall, I, Jeffrey Scott Lasswell, am here for you. I’m a former insurance company lawyer who uses my knowledge and experience to defend the rights of accident victims. I have recovered significant compensation for my clients, and I would be honored to represent you in your injury claim. Contact our office for a free initial consultation.
Common Causes of Falls at Work
You can fall almost anywhere, so there can be various causes for slips and falls at work. Some common causes of falls at work that may involve third parties include:
- You fell in a store where you were picking up supplies for work
- Your boss sent you to get lunch for your department and you fell in the restaurant
- You were sent to a convention or annual meeting where you fell
- You were attending a business meeting outside your office when you fell
- You were on a client’s property to provide an estimate for services and fell there
- You slipped and fell when getting out of an elevator on a slippery surface cleaned by a separate contractor
- You fell on a customer’s driveway when delivering products to them
- You fell on a slippery mat that claimed it was slip-resistant
- You were injured as a subcontractor on a construction site that was managed by a contractor
Third-Party Claims for Slips and Falls at Work
Third-party claims are personal injury lawsuits brought against a party other than your employer. Some examples of third parties who may be responsible for your slip and fall accident might include:
- Property owners – Property owners must maintain their properties to avoid preventable injuries to people on their property.
- General contractors – General contractors may be responsible for maintaining construction sites.
- Product manufacturers – Manufacturers must make products that are safe to be used by consumers. They must also provide adequate warnings to alert consumers about the hazards of using them.
Any third-party claim would be in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
What Are the Elements of Liability for a Slip and Fall at Work?
To recover compensation from a third party after a slip and fall at work, you must be able to prove the following elements to have a legitimate case:
Someone Other Than Your Employer Is Liable for the Accident
For a third-party claim, you must be able to show that someone else’s negligence caused your slip and fall. Some examples of negligence that can lead to a slip and fall include:
- Not cleaning up messes the property owner knows about
- Not conducting periodic inspections to uncover possible hazards
- Not repairing something the owner has been informed is a hazard
- Not putting up a sign to warn others about a hazard
A Dangerous Condition Was Present on the Property
You must show that a dangerous condition was present on the property, such as:
- Spilled food, water, or substances on the floor
- Water or ice
- Wires, cables, debris, or other trip and fall hazards
The Property Owner Knew About the Dangerous Condition
You must also be able to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
You Were Not Responsible for the Dangerous Condition
Because the accident occurred on the job, you must be able to show that your own negligence was not the cause of the dangerous condition.
The Dangerous Condition Caused Your Injury
The dangerous condition must be what caused your injury.
You Suffered Damages
Finally, you must show that you suffered damages as a result of your workplace fall.
Potential Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents at Work
While workers’ compensation claims are generally limited to medical expense payments and partial wage replacement, more forms of compensation may be available through a personal injury claim, including for:
- Medical expenses, including past medical expenses and medical expenses anticipated in the future
- The cost to repair or replace personal property that was damaged in the fall
- The full cost of lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident at Work
Here’s what you should do after a slip and fall at work:
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible – The most important step after any workplace accident is to see a doctor as soon as possible. In an emergency, go to the most convenient provider. After that, you may be required to see an Authorized Treating Physician from a list of doctors your employer provides. First and foremost, quickly getting treatment increases your odds of returning to full health as quickly as possible. Second, you want to be able to show the connection between your injuries and a workplace accident.
- Report the injury to your employer – Let your employer know that you’ve been injured as soon as you can.
- Speak to a slip and fall lawyer – A knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer can analyze your claim and determine all of your legal options. I can advise you on your next steps.
How Our Colorado Springs Work Injury Lawyer Can Help You After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you had a slip and fall accident at work, I can assess your case and determine if you have a viable third-party claim. it’s in your best interest to speak to a Colorado Springs slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after a workplace fall.
To get a free initial consultation with workers’ comp attorney Jeffrey Scott Lasswell, contact our office today.