Slip and falls or trip and falls at work are a common occurrence and a common source of back and knee injuries. Herniated disks and tendon tears are very common. Most people who suffer work falls and accidents will not need to make any claim whatsoever. However, for people who do suffer serious injuries, here are three important steps to take after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at work.
1. Report the injury to your employer
In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, the accident and injuries must be reported to the employer within a certain time frame. In Pennsylvania, injured workers generally have up to 180 days. In New Jersey, workers generally have up to 90 days. There are some exceptions in both states, but these time frames will usually apply to most slip and fall or trip and fall work accident situations. The reason for prompt reporting is twofold: 1. to preserve the ability to make a workers’ compensation claim and 2. the employer will fill out an incident report and at least, make note of how the accident occurred or note the names of eyewitnesses. Read more about recovering for injuries in a Pennsylvania slip and fall accident at work here.
2. Seek proper medical help
In most workplace accident fall situations, the injured worker will be able to obtain medical benefits through workers’ compensation. However, even if the workers’ compensation insurance company denies the claim, the injured worker should still seek treatment, if needed and use personal, private health insurance to pay for the medical bills. In the event workers’ compensation denies the claim, it is advisable to speak to a workplace accident lawyer.
3. Determine the cause of the accident
Workplace fall accidents which result in serious injuries deserve proper investigation into the cause of the accident. For example, a worker may be injured because a third party/unknown company negligently repaired a pipe, causing water to leak onto the floor.
Most workplace fall accidents occur due to a combination of factors: worker/employee negligence, employer negligence and other/unknown party’s negligence. Under both Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, employers usually cannot be sued for a work related accident. That’s the principle behind workers’ compensation – in exchange for giving up the right to sue an employer, employees can make workers’ compensation claims.
In workplace fall accident cases, some other party may be liable. For instance, a maintenance company or building management company may be liable for negligent maintenance which caused the slip and fall or trip and fall accident. In addition, workers can still file claims against such entities, even if they share some of the blame for the accident. In fact, many workers are surprised to learn that even if their own negligence contributed to the accident, they are still eligible to make claims against other, non-employer parties.
More Pennsylvania Work Related Slip and Fall Accident Legal Articles:
- Success in a Pennsylvania Workplace & Fall Accident Lawsuit
- Pennsylvania Work Accident Law -Compensation for Work Related Accidents in PA
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Slip and Fall Work Accident Law Firm
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Published: October 18, 2012