Will a fall-related injury lead to workers’ compensation benefits?
Maybe you work in a job that takes you up to significant elevations, such as construction, tree trimming or window washing. Maybe you work a job that does not put you in such dangerous environments. You might work at a hospital or as a server at a restaurant.
All it takes is a few seconds of distraction or something you don’t notice on the floor in front of you for you to fall and end up getting hurt. Often, slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall situations where someone falls from the same height are the results of their own distraction or lack of coordination.
Can you still request workers’ compensation benefits if you fall at work and it is probably your fault?
Yes, fault won’t factor into your claim
Unless your employer can show that you broke the law, violated company policy or came to work under the influence of drugs and alcohol and then fell and got hurt as a result, they likely cannot deny you benefits just because they blame you for your own injury.
Falls are one of the top causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, so it is important that workers’ compensation protect those who get hurt because they fall. According to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of workers die annually because they fall, and hundreds of thousands of workers missed or more days of work because of a job-related fall.
There were 798 worker deaths from falls in 2014, and 261,930 workers got hurt when they fell and missed work as a result. Workers who get injured on the job can connect with medical benefits and disability pay. The surviving family members of those who die because of a fall at work can also receive death benefits.
Reporting a fall is an important first step
One of the ways that you may hurt your benefit claim is through a failure to advise your employer when a fall occurs. Especially if you don’t notice your injuries until the next day, failing to report a fall when it happens could complicate your claim later. Letting a supervisor know if you fall, even at the same level, will create an internal record of the incident.
Recognizing that you may require medical evaluation after a fall can help you protect yourself from the worsening symptoms you might develop if you fail to secure a timely diagnosis. Understanding when you have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim and how to protect your right to benefits will make it easier for you to cover your medical costs and replace your lost wages after you get hurt on the job.