If you slip on a wet floor in your office, you may feel pretty certain that the medical costs associated with your injuries will be covered by your employer's workers' comp insurance. But what if you slip and fall on an icy walkway as you leave the company building or trip on a rug in the hallway? Will you still have an eligible claim then?
Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, including in your office, at a construction site or other work environment. Fortunately, most employers, even small private companies, are required to carry workers’ comp insurance in Michigan.
Our Grand Rapids workers’ comp lawyers at Jay Trucks discuss what you need to know about a slip and fall, including when they may be covered by your workers' comp and what you can do if you suffer this type of injury.
Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common ways that people get hurt on the job - approximately every one in six work injuries happen this way. As an employee, associated medical costs and other benefits resulting from most slip – or trip – and fall accidents that happen on the job are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
These are some common ways employees may get injured in a slip and fall at work:
- Slipping on a wet spot on the floor
- Tripping over an office cable
- Falling on an icy work parking lot
- Stumbling over a ripped rug or other object
- Falling off of a ladder or scaffolding at a construction site
- Tripping or stumbling because of uneven or defective flooring
Harder-to-Prove Areas for a Workplace Slip and Fall
More complicated workers' compensation claims may arise from slip and fall accidents that happen at unusual times or off your immediate work premises. In many of these situations, an employer or workers' compensation carrier may argue that these injuries did not occur or arise out of the scope of your normal job duties.
Here are some examples of slip and fall incidents that be harder to prove as a work-related injury:
- During your lunch hour in your place of work
- Walking in a designated company parking lot or other lot near your office
- Walking from your car to get to work
- Leaving work to walk back to your car
- Taking a bathroom break
- Getting into, or out of your car
For these types of accidents at work, you may benefit from having an attorney represent you. Often, whether or not you may have a workers’ compensation claim is in the details, and having a licensed attorney on your side to protect your rights may mean the difference in your claim being approved.
Other situations where your slip and fall injury will likely not be covered by workers' comp include:
- Taking your lunch break off premises
- Stopping at the grocery store before heading to your car after work
- Other non-work related errands
What If I Contributed to My Slip and Fall?
It is important to understand your rights after a work-related injury. Fault does not matter when pursuing a workers’ comp claim. So whether negligence on your part may have contributed to the accident in some way, you should still be eligible for benefits. However, the opposite is also true for your employer. Unless he or she intentionally caused you harm, you cannot sue him or her for damages due to a work-related injury.
What Do I Need to Do After a Workplace Slip and Fall?
Although Michigan employees are covered by their company’s workers’ compensation insurance, there are still responsibilities that you must meet following a job-related slip and fall.
In addition to avoiding many of the common mistakes people make after getting hurt at work, it is important to take these steps:
- Notify your employer immediately: Although you are given 90 days to report an accident, it is unwise not to report it immediately. As soon as you step off your work premises, it becomes a little easier for an employer or insurance carrier to argue your injuries could have happened elsewhere.
- Seek medical care: Seeking medical attention right away helps to protect your health – this is especially important if you have sustained a serious internal injury. Additionally, when you are seen by a medical professional, the diagnosis and doctor’s notes are in your medical records. This information helps to link your injuries to the accident.
- File your workers’ comp claim: Your slip and fall injury at work must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Agency in Michigan within two years. However, the later you file, the more difficult it may be to obtain your benefits.
- Contact an attorney: Workers’ comp claims can be complicated and may benefit from the experience of a qualified attorney – someone who understands workers’ compensation laws.
Contact the Jay Trucks Legal Team Today
Why risk or delay your workers’ compensation claim?
Our attorneys have extensive experience handling workers’ comp claims caused by slip and falls and other accidents in the workplace. At Jay Trucks, we have been representing injured victims against insurance companies for decades. We understand the underhanded methods they use to try to delay – or even deny your workers' comp benefits.
We also understand the law, and we are prepared to review details of your situation, investigate your accident and gather evidence to help build a strong case on your behalf. If your claim was denied, you should contact us for help immediately.
If you suffered a slip and fall accident at work, call our firm to find out how we may be able to help.
Free Case Review. (800) 762-8623