Of all reported accidents, slips and falls were the most common. Of all personal injuries, falls can account for more than 8 million emergency room visits each year. Slipping is cited as the leading cause of approximately 1 million of those falls annually.
Slips and falls are not the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries. However, they do account for most of the injuries that lead to missing work. There are many different injuries that may result from a slip and fall. Broken bones, sprains, spinal injuries, dislocations, strains, lacerations, and even traumatic brain injuries are all possible.
Because of the likelihood of injuries, it is essential that you understand the options available to you should you suffer from a slip and fall accident at work.
Workplace accidents are much more common than you may think. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, roughly 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in 2017. In 2016, the BLS also reported 5,190 fatal workplace accidents as well. (This was a seven percent increase from fatalities reported in 2015, which totaled 4,836.)
The fact of the matter is workplace injuries are unfortunately common. Of all workplace injuries reported in 2017, 882,730 of them resulted in having to take an average of eight days off from work. If you are one of many Americans who cannot afford to take this type of time off from work, you can understand why workplace-related injuries can create compounded issues that go beyond physical pain.
Experts suggest that anyone who suffers from a slip and fall accident should seek medical help as soon as possible after the incident. Not all injuries surface immediately and seeking medical help can aid in identifying any potential issues that may be delayed. (For example, a concussion may not be as easy to identify as you would think. A doctor can help identify this or provide you with a list of symptoms to watch for following a fall.) In some cases, a slip and fall may not result in serious injuries.
Regardless of whether your slip and fall resulted in an injury, you should notify your supervisor or appropriate chain of command to ensure proper safety protocols are followed. This can help reduce the likelihood of future slips and falls that may result in much more severe issues. Immediate action should be taken by your employer to rectify the issues that led to your slip and fall, such as clearing the area, fixing the lighting, or providing safety training to personnel.
If your workplace injuries have resulted in medical bills, time away from work, or pain and suffering – you may decide to file a workers’ compensation claim. For many of those who suffer from a slip and fall accident, filing a claim may be the only choice. After all, as medical bills stack up, in addition to missed work, the financial aspect of an injury alone can be devastating.
If you are going to pursue a workers’ compensation claim in New York, you have to report the injury within 30 days of the accident. (Work-related diseases are also covered by workers’ compensation insurance; these must be reported within two years of learning your illness was likely caused by the workplace.)
When you opt for filing a claim on your own, your employer will need to provide you with Form C-3, which will start the filing process. You should note, however, that while many American choose to represent themselves in a workers’ compensation, it is not advised.
Often, those who represent themselves receive much less in compensation and care when compared to those who seek representation. If you decide to seek legal counsel, you should do so as soon as possible after suffering a workplace accident.
By hiring representation, you have a much greater chance of being awarded the compensation you deserve. (Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation insurance companies will not even acknowledge the employer’s liability unless you have legal representation.)
When you consult with a lawyer, you will want to provide as much information as possible to help them determine the best course of action. Gather bills, witness information, pictures of the site and/or injury, doctors’ reports and any other type of supporting evidence that can help your lawyer identify the appropriate compensation and arguments to make on your behalf. A lawyer can also help to guide you through the process, prepare you for any potential testimonies, and other such important parts of a workers’ compensation claim.
Accident Help Zone is here to help you stay informed regarding your rights after suffering a workplace accident. If you have been injured by a fall accident, visit Accident Help Zone today to learn more about what you should do.
If you or your family member have been involved in an auto accident, injured at work, or suffered a slip & fall accident in New York or New Jersey, we invite you to explore our free comprehensive library.
Whether you need more information about filing your workers’ compensation claim or need to find an experienced doctor or personal injury lawyer, you’ve come to the right place – Accident Help Zone is here to help you and your loved ones!