The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that slip and fall accidents account for 27 percent of workplace accidents. If you have fallen victim to such a fate, you may be asking the same question millions of workers ask. Can I sue my employer for a slip and fall? This article answers that question and tells you how an Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney can help protect your rights.
Worker’s Compensation Claim
Most slip and fall accidents that happen in the workplace are handled through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated and regulated program that requires employers to carry a policy to protect workers from job-related injuries. Essentially, the coverage pays for medical expenses and lost income of an injured employee as they recuperate.
If you get injured, and your employer carries workers’ compensation coverage, you may qualify for benefits if you meet the following criteria:
- Your accident occurred during work hours.
- You were following company policy and had taken all the necessary precautions.
- You were within the scope of your duty during the accident.
- The injury was not self-inflicted.
- The accident did not happen during the commission of a crime.
- You weren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the accident.
Besides protecting your interests, workers’ compensation also protects your employer from employee lawsuits, which is why seeking benefits should be your first step. This does not mean, however, that your claim will be automatically approved. The insurance company could deny it.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you could turn to an attorney who will appeal the decision. They will then negotiate with the insurer or file a worker’s compensation lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
As already mentioned, workers’ compensation protects your employer from lawsuits. Nonetheless, there are situations where you can sue them with the help of your attorney. They include:
- When your employer was negligent, and their negligence caused your injuries
- There is no third party to be held responsible for the slipping hazard.
- Your injuries happened while you were off the clock, e.g., during lunch break.
Generally, you have a personal injury claim if you were injured at work due to your employer’s negligence, even if you were not in the scope of our duties.
For instance, a mechanic who cuts his arm while working on a machine could file a workers’ compensation claim. An office messenger who sustains the same injury while walking to the cafeteria because the machine was not guarded can sue their employer under personal injury.
Your injury may not always be the result of a workplace hazard or your employer’s negligence. In some cases, it could be caused by a third party, such as a utility worker or an independent contractor. Picture a plumber who leaves a pipe leaking, causing a puddle in the basement and causing you to slip as you walk to your car. You can file a third-party lawsuit against them.
Unlike workers’ compensation, a third-party lawsuit settlement can cover more than your medical expenses and lost income.
Speak to an Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
The best answer to ‘can I sue my employer for a slip and fall’ is it depends. Your Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney will evaluate the facts of your case and point you in the best direction. If you don’t have one, contact James Ponton today at (404) 857-4124 to schedule a free consultation.