A common question people ask workers’ comp attorneys is, “I slipped and fell at work. What should I do?” If you’re in this position, you should first take care of your physical health. Seek emergency or urgent medical attention to address your injuries (even if you think you’re fine). Next, document everything that happened and notify your employer if you have to miss more than one shift because of your condition. If your employer denies your benefits request, you may be eligible to file a claim petition. The post-injury process may be different if you’re an independent contractor or a third party hurt you. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine the best course of action based on your situation.
At Kalikhman & Rayz, we know how important it is for injured workers to get the help they need. Having to file unfamiliar forms and deal with workers’ compensation insurance companies can be overwhelming. It can interrupt the healing process and cause unnecessary stress. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers tirelessly fight for those out of work because of a job-related slip and fall. We take on legal matters so injured workers can focus their time and energy on recovering.
I Slipped and Fell at Work. What Should I Do Now?
If you experienced a slip and fall at work, take these steps to help safeguard your physical well-being and protect your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention,
- Document everything,
- Notify your employer,
- Speak to an attorney, and
- File a claim petition.
Taking these steps can help set you up for a smooth recovery process. Additionally, it can increase your chances of successfully bringing a workers’ compensation claim. Note that many of these steps apply to most (but not all) employees. For example, you probably can’t file a workers’ compensation claim if you are a freelance worker and are hurt on the job. But you may be eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
Seek Medical Treatment
After a slip and fall, it’s imperative for you to see a doctor. You may have a traumatic brain injury, soft tissue damage, broken bones, sprained limbs, or other harm. It’s essential to have healthcare professionals treat you close in time to when the accident occurs. That way, they can confidently draw a connection between the fall and your condition. Seeing a doctor also limits the chance that you overlook potentially dangerous conditions you have but may not immediately notice.
After the fall, document everything that happened leading up to, during, and after the incident. It would be best if you took note of things like where you fell, who was there, and the placement of objects (such as a ladder or spill). If possible, take photographs for your records. If your co-workers witnessed the fall, have them write down what they saw.
Notify Your Employer
Notify your employer of the accident. Preferably, you should provide them with written notice so there’s a record of it. If you send a note, take a picture or make a copy of it before you hand it to your employer. You can use this to prove you told your employer about your injury on a specific date and time.
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, you usually have about 21 days to tell your employer about your injury. In some cases, you may have more time than this, but it’s best to tell your employer about the accident soon after it happens. If you wait too long, you may miss out on your chance to receive essential benefits.
Speak to an Attorney
Talk to an attorney about your injury and your rights to compensation. They can help ensure you don’t unlawfully lose your job because you filed for workers’ compensation. Additionally, they can communicate with your employer and other third parties on your behalf, freeing up your time to focus on getting better. A lawyer can also work with your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider to help you get a fair settlement. Finally, they can help you find approved workers’ compensation doctors to help ensure your employer pays for your healthcare.
File a Claim Petition
If your employer and their insurance provider deny your claim for benefits, you may be eligible to submit a claim petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. In this process, you ask a workers’ compensation judge to take a second look at your claim.
In most cases, the judges may ask you, your employer, and your attorneys to attend a hearing. At this hearing, you (or your attorney) present evidence and legal arguments for why you should get workers’ compensation. At the end of this hearing, the judges decide to accept or deny your claim. If they deny your claim, you may also have the option to appeal this decision.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Work-Related Slip and Fall in Pennsylvania?
In most cases, Pennsylvania law restricts somebody’s right to file a lawsuit for a work injury. But there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the worker is an independent contractor, they may be able to file a personal injury claim against their employer. If they go this route, they need to show their employer is responsible for their injuries somehow. An employee may be able to sue a third party (e.g., a subcontractor) for a work-related slip and fall. Again, they must prove that the third party’s actions or inaction caused their injury.
What Compensation Can I Get for a Work Injury?
If you qualify for workers’ compensation, some of the benefits you might receive include:
- Wage replacement benefits (usually up to two-thirds of your weekly average income),
- Money to cover your medical care, and
- Specific loss benefits (if you suffer a particular type of injury, like an amputated thumb).
Surviving family members may be able to receive death benefits if their loved one succumbs to their work-related injury.
How long you receive these benefits depends on several factors, including your disability or impairment rating. Your disability rating is a percentage a doctor assigns to your condition. It represents your condition’s impact on your ability to function and perform tasks. This impairment rating may change during the healing process. For example, you may have a total impairment rating when you first get hurt. As time passes, you may regain function and only be partially disabled.
Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC: Fierce Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Pennsylvania
You may be eligible for workers’ compensation if you slipped and fell at work and need to take time off to heal. Going through the process of claiming benefits can be confusing and stressful, especially if your employer isn’t cooperating with you. Instead of navigating this situation alone, consider hiring a dependable workers’ compensation lawyer.
The team at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC is committed to supporting injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. We know firsthand how challenging it can be for workers to get the compensation they deserve. From the mountain of red tape to figuring out what doctor to go to, there’s a lot to take care of. Lawrence Kalikhman and his outstanding support staff are here to guide you every step of the way. His tireless advocacy has paved the way for many others to get the help they need when they need it most.
If you slipped and fell at work, contact us today by calling 267-489-2204 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.