Most, if not all, people experience a slip, trip, or fall at some point in their lives. When the fall occurs in the workplace, taking legal action might be a possibility. It’s crucial to understand how to handle a work-related fall, so you do not hinder your chances for the workers’ compensation you are rightfully owed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 260,000 employees missed one or more days from work in 2014 due to injuries associated with falls in the workplace. That includes those in the private industry and state and local government employees. Nearly 800 workers died from workplace falls.
Individuals in the following industries are at a higher risk for being injured on the job from a fall: healthcare support, building cleaning and maintenance, transportation and material moving, and construction and extraction. Employers are supposed to ensure workplace conditions are hazard-free for employees. When a fall occurs because of neglect, there are certain steps the employee should take.
Steps to Take Immediately After Falling at Work
Knowing what to do after a fall at work will not only improve your chances of a fast recovery, but it will also aid you in building a strong case in the event you need to take legal action. The first step, no matter how serious the fall, is to seek medical attention. Evaluate the scene, as well. Make note of what you believe caused your fall, especially if it was a hazardous condition that could have been prevented.
After you’ve been looked over by a physician and treated, you’ll want to report the accident to your employer. No matter how serious the fall, you’ll want to tell your employer about the details of the fall, and mention the injuries you’ve been diagnosed with, including pain. If you neglect to report the event, your employer could deny you benefits for missed time from work. Reporting the incident properly will ensure this does not happen and that you receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are eligible.
Once you’ve reported the accident to your employer, you’ll benefit from getting in touch with a lawyer who specializes in employment law. They will be able to evaluate your claim, determine what you are owed, and take measures to ensure you are not taken advantage of in any way.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
As mentioned above, the first step to take after you’ve been injured at work is to be taken care of by a doctor. If you’ve fallen at work and need emergency medical attention call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room. If not, if most cases you’ll need to be evaluated and treated by a physician of your employer’s choosing; however, you may be able to seek treatment from your primary care physician – it depends on your employer’s policy.
Seeking medical attention is crucial for a number of reasons. First, your health should always be put first. Even if you feel okay, there’s a chance you could have sustained injuries that will worsen over time. Your doctor will be able to determine what physical shape you are in, regardless of how you are feeling.
Failing to seek medical attention can hurt your chances of receiving the compensation you need to recover from the accident. Your employer might assume you did not hurt yourself, or showing the connection between the accident and your injuries could be more difficult if you delayed treatment. Having medical documents that show the correlation between your injuries and the falling accident is often the strongest form of evidence when taking legal action.
Getting Compensation for a Workplace Fall
Generally, your employer is required to pay for your accident-related medical expenses until your claim has been accepted or denied. If your claim is approved, your employer will continue to pay for the bills. If your claim is denied, however, you will be stuck with paying. Seeking the guidance of an attorney is crucial to avoid paying for bills you shouldn’t have to pay.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be difficult to receive the compensation you need. Completing a thorough investigation, submitting documents on time, and negotiating will all come into play with workers’ comp.
If you’ve been injured by a fall at work, our lawyers can answer your questions explain your rights to you. Depending on your circumstances, a thorough investigation may be needed to prove your employer’s negligence caused your fall. We can conduct that investigation and determine the cost of the damages you’ve incurred. To learn more, contact our office today.