4 Things You Need to Know About Slip and Fall Accidents at Work

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What to Know

For any employee that has had a slip and fall accident at work, the most important thing to know is that no matter what, your health comes first. Never let anyone play down your accident or tell you that it’s not a big deal. Even those slip and falls that don’t seem like that much of an issue when it first happens can turn into something much more significant with time.

 

Regardless of how careful you are on the job site, obstacles can get in the way, spills can happen, and other situations can occur which create a space where you’re usually comfortable working a lot more hazardous. There is no difference between a trip, slip, or fall that results in injury. Each case should be treated the same no matter what the severity of the resulting damage to your body or your health is.

 

Many times, these types of accidents result in a legal case because there was negligence on the part of the business owner or your employer. By following the proper protocol, you’re going to have a much better chance in court if your employer decides they don’t want to cover the medical costs associated with your work-related injuries.

 

If you work or if you’ve recently suffered a slip and fall accident at work the first course of action is filing a worker’s compensation claim. Also, there are several other very important things you should know. Don’t let this already uncomfortable situation get any worse. Protect yourself by understanding exactly what you’re supposed to do after workplace injuries occur.

1. Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Most employers are going to have it in their procedures and policies, but if you haven’t seen it, the first step after any workplace accident occurs is going to get medical treatment right away. Even if you don’t think that you’ve sustained an injury, or if it’s a minor bump or bruise, you still want to get it on file that you went and had a professional examination. That way, if something happens later on as a result of the slip and fall accident that doesn’t affect you right away, you have a paper trail and substantial evidence that you were involved in something dangerous to your health and well-being.

 

Besides, even if you have health insurance coverage, a slip and fall accident that happens in the workplace isn’t something that you’re responsible for paying for. The incident occurred on the property of your employer, and that’s why they have worker’s compensation coverage. As long as the proper procedures are followed, that will take care of your doctor or hospital bill. There will be documentation that has to be filled out before the employer workman’s comp kicks in, and you want to get it done right away. You don’t want to be stuck paying for a bill that wasn’t your fault just because you procrastinated on getting the appropriate paperwork turned in on time. 

When you do see a healthcare provider, your primary doctor might be an excellent physician, but usually is not be an ideal doctor to see after a work-related injury. It is usually recommended to see a physician who specializes in treating work-related injuries. These specialists include an orthopedist, neurologist, physiatrist or a chiropractor. One other to keep in mind if you are receiving medical treatment in New Yor State, your doctor must be authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board in order to treat on-the-job injuries. To find WCB Authorized doctors you can use WCB provider search or find a doctor search tool on InjuredCallToday.com

2. Report the Workplace Injury & Document Everything

In some instances, you’re going to have workplace injuries that are so severe that you don’t have time to report it and then document what has happened right away. If you’re in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, for instance, there’s a good chance that everyone already knows that you’re dealing with a work-related injury. That doesn’t mean that you have no responsibility in the matter though. You still have to fill out the appropriate records and documentation for your employer so that when the time comes to get the money owed to you, the facts are right in front of them. In your documentation make sure to include:

  • Where the incident happened
  • What caused the accident
  • What you were doing prior to the slip and fall
  • When the incident occurred (date, time, etc.)
  • Your resulting workplace injuries if any
  • What you received for medical treatment
  • Any names of people that witnessed the event
  • Statements from witnesses if available

Part of your records should also include what you were wearing at the time of the accident. This is important for several reasons. For example, if your workplace requires steel-toe boots on the job site, make sure that you can prove that you were wearing the approved work attire. You may want even to store away whatever you had on in a safe place, just in case your worker’s compensation claim ends up in court. It could be an essential piece of evidence.

3. Timeframes to File Your Claim for Worker's Compensation

As soon as you realize that you have suffered a workplace injury, the best policy to follow is doing your reporting of the accident right away. It’s the only way you’re guaranteed to have a clear memory of what happened. Your supervisor is the only one that needs to know the details of the event, so make sure that you let them know and give them your documentation. Your co-workers don’t need to know the details of your accident. If you can’t get to your supervisor, know that you have up to 30 days to report the incident. Chances are if you’ve been hurt, your employer is going to want your claim right away too because it’s the only way to ensure that their own worker’s compensation covers them.

 

For some workers, the injuries from a slip and fall accident at work do not surface until some time has passed. In New York City, if you believe that you’re dealing with something like back pain or stress on bones and muscles because of falling previously at work, you have up to two years to file a claim for those kinds of injuries. That’s why it is vital that you report an accident at work, no matter how minor it seems. That documentation could be precious later on.

If for some reason you fail to fill out the appropriate paperwork on time and file your worker’s compensation claim, you could deal with being denied later on down the road. So you slipped on a small puddle of water, fell backward, but didn’t feel anything right away, and nobody saw you. You didn’t see how it was going to affect you later on until a couple of months pass. Then, you’re dealing with chronic back pain that you didn’t have before. There’s no way for you to get the benefits you should if there is no evidence of the situation ever happening.

Death from Slip and Fall Accidents

In the event a slip and fall accident results in death, it’s up to the family member of the deceased to file the worker’s compensation claim. In New York City, the beneficiaries have up to two years to file a death-related worker’s compensation claim with the worker’s employer. As mentioned before, it’s always the best idea to do all the reporting and documentation as soon as possible. There could be monetary benefits issued as a result of the accident, and those will be forfeited if you wait too long.

4. Hire An Attorney if Needed

Yes, attorney fees can get a bit expensive, but when it comes to taking care of you and your family, it might be a necessity while dealing with a delicate slip and fall case. There are employers and business owners out there that aren’t going to want to take responsibility for the fall that happens on their property, regardless of the evidence pointing to their negligence. In New York City, attorneys see all kinds of workplace accidents resulting in injuries, so they know how to get your claim approved and get you the money you need.

Take into consideration that if you’re hurt badly enough, you aren’t going to be able to perform your regular work duties. That means that you aren’t getting paid at all. So while your bills are piling up at home, an attorney can help you get the money you need and deserve. A reputable NY worker’s compensation lawyer can:

  • Take care of all the complicated paperwork. You’ve already been through enough. You don’t need the stress of trying to get your documentation in order on top of everything else you’ve been through.
  • Watch and prepare for deadlines. No matter if you’re in New York City or any other area in the country, there are time limits on getting a workman’s compensation in. While you’re focused on getting better, he or she can make sure you stay on schedule and make all those important dates.
  • Explain the details of your worker’s comp case. All of this can be overwhelming, especially if you have no background in dealing with legal situations. The technical mumbo jumbo that comes along with a slip and fall accident at work can confuse even the most educated individual. Lawyers can explain it in a way that you’re going to understand more easily.

 

Now that you know what you should be doing after dealing with a slip and fall accident take a few moments to review what you should NEVER do after you’ve suffered an accident in the workplace.

  • Don’t talk with co-workers or anyone else about what happened.
  • Never post anything about the incident on social media.
  • Don’t wait to get medical attention. Do it right away!
  • Skip talking to insurance companies until you speak with a lawyer.
  • Never take the blame for what happened.
  • Don’t put the blame of the workplace accident on anyone else.

 

If you’re fortunate enough, you may be employed by someone that honestly does want to help you get through your accident as stress-free as possible. You’re the only one that’s going to know if that’s the case for you or not. As long as you follow the proper procedures after a slip and fall, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about other than getting yourself well and going back to work.