Slip and Fall At Work? Can You Sue If You Slip and Fell at Work?
A slip and fall at work is one of the most common ways people who have a work related injury get hurt.
Lots of jobs require hustle and most workers want to do a good job for their employer. As a result, falls happen. If you are injured at work can you sue?
Learning as much as you can about these kinds of cases if you fell at work is one of the smartest things to do. So, I wrote this page to help you know what you or a loved one might be in for if someone got hurt at work in a fall.
Want To Know What Your Slip and Fall Injury Is Worth?
If You Had A Fall At Work, You Might Have Two Cases.
Any time you get hurt in a fall at work, you probably have a valid Workers Comp case. In Illinois, being hurt on the job almost automatically means you have a Workers Comp case.
Here's how that works:
- If you are an employee (not an independant contractor); and
- You get hurt while doing your job...
...then you are very likely to have a good Workers Comp case. It's almost that simple.
But you may also have what is called a 'third party' case in addition to your Workers Comp case.
A 'third party' case is just a regular law suit that gets heard at the Courthouse. Car crashes, dog bites and fall down cases are all examples of third party cases.
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When Does A Slip and Fall At Work Mean a Third Party Case?
Did someone who isn't your employer or who isn't also an employee of your boss cause or contribute to your fall? If that's the case, then you may have a third party case as well as a Workers Comp case.
So, for example, if you are at work and an outside company is waxing the floor and doesn't put up wet floor signs, that would be a slip and fall case.
Or if you are on a work site and another company digs a hole and you fall in, or provides you with a dangerous ladder or piece of equipment
Once of the most common examples is if you drive a ride an Uber or a truck, and someone else runs into you, that's going to ber a WOrkers Comp case as well as a third party case.
Is It Good To Have A Workers Comp AND A Third Party Case?
Yes, it is usually a very good thing. The main reason is that your damages are limited in a Workers Comp case. But your damages are only limited by what a Judge or Jury thinks your case is worth.
Any time one of my clients can make a claim for both, I always tell them that it is the best thing to do. It gives you your best chance to get a full recovery for your injuries.
What Do You Have To Prove To Win A Slip and Fall At Work Injury Case?
In a slip and fall Workers Comp case, you don't have to prove anything other than what we discussed above.
But if there is a third party involved, then you should know what we have to prove so you can begin gathering evidence right away.
Knowing what evidence you need to help your lawyer is important after a slip and fall. This leaves you injured, unable to work, and out of money. What do you do if you experience a slip and fall at work?
Although worker’s compensation kicks in for many folks, what if it doesn’t? Or what if you believe the accident was the fault of your employer, and shouldn’t have occurred to begin with?
Here’s everything to know about when you can sue a third party if you are the victim of an accident at work that involves slipping and falling.
Prove That Someone Else is Liable for the Accident
When dealing with a slip and fall at work, it’s important to understand that for you to sue your employer, you need to show they were liable for the accident.
Proving fault isn’t simple as an accident occurs. You must make the claim that the employer either ignored or didn’t take action quickly enough to correct a problem.
An ideal example of this is a huge puddle of water that was left standing. You come into work and don’t see the puddle, causing you to slip and fall. (Remember, the puddle had to be created by someone that isn't your employer or your co-worker for you to have a third party case, but you still could do a Workers Comp case).
If your employer wasn’t in the act of getting a mop or attempting to clean up the mess or even show there was a mess present (such as with signs) this presents a problem. Another example would be the workplace not training new employees in proper safety measures.
These are examples showing that there is a lack of concern and you are not the one at fault. Make sure you’re aware of what workplace conditions are present, so you have an accurate picture of what you’re dealing with.
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Show That Conditions Existed Causing You to Slip and Fall at Work
When proving an accident at work, it’s important to understand the difference between the employer not doing their job and cleaning up, and being careless and not paying attention. When suing someone, the burden of proof remains on you to show that you weren’t at fault for what occurred.
If you don’t look where you’re going, ignore signs that are clearly up around a wet or damaged area noting it is dangerous. Or simply didn’t see someone who was working on the area, this creates an issue. It’s important to show that none of these things were present when your accident happened.
When understanding slip and fall injuries at work, here are certain factors that contribute to them:
- Lubricants on the floor or ground
- Wires, cables, or other cord-like items across the floor that lead to tripping
Keep in mind other factors such as if you:
- Have a disability, and use a cane, crutches, or another type of walking aid
- If you were carrying several items at once and weren’t able to see what caused your accident
- There were signs up that you missed
- You were in an area that transitioned from one surface to another (carpet to floor)
Being aware of your surroundings and what caused you to have a problem is crucial to your case. You’ll need to give your lawyer complete information when you file a slip and fall at work suit against your company.
Show The Accident Wasn’t Created by You
Certain accidents, especially those caused by you, cannot be used when suing for slip and fall. This is because you are the one responsible for what caused the accident.
Let’s you start mopping and get called away to do something else without putting up signs alerting others to a wet floor, and you come back and slip. The fault becomes yours since you were responsible for addressing what caused the slip to begin with.
But if an outside company is at your workplace, and they mop the floor without warning anyone that the floor is wet? This can lead to a good case.
Proving fault in a slip and fall lawsuit is difficult for some folks. This is true for those that played a role in creating the conditions that lead to the accident.
Some examples of problems that weren’t created by you are:
- Long-time hazards that the company knew about but did not fix
- No signage up that would make employees aware of the problem
- The problem was created by someone other than the employee
- The problem occurred before the employee arrived to work
You’ll also need to show that there was no reasonable understanding of the problem or condition. For example, someone who saw signs up about slippery surfaces would infer not to walk quickly in that area.
When pursuing a slip and fall at work, documentation is one of the most important things. This helps your attorney build a strong case, and show how the manager or owner left the area in a state of neglect.
Make a note of:
- Where the accident occurred
- How long it had been in this condition
- What happened to you
- Any diagnoses from a doctor you saw related to this accident
- Any witnesses who will come forward with the accident
The more you can prove you weren’t at fault for what occurred, you’re likely to win a slip and fall case against the third party.
A Good Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help You
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Making a Workers Comp claim and/or taking a third party to Court over a slip and fall at work is intimidating. You don’t want to lose your job, but you aren’t comfortable or safe with a company that permits bad conditions.
If you have any question or need help, I am here for you. You can call me 24/7/365 at 312-500-4500 for a free consultation.
Or just click the button below to submit your case for review, free and no obligation.