If you suffer a slip and fall at work, there are steps you can take to make sure that you are treated fairly until you recover from your injuries. Consult our quick guide here, and then speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect yourself after your accident.
Seek Medical Attention
If you were injured at work, anticipate that you will be following the process for workers’ compensation. In this case, you will need to consult your employer on which physicians their workers’ comp insurance will approve. However, if the injuries constitute an emergency, someone must call an ambulance and workers’ comp benefits can be sorted out later.
Even if you can walk away from the accident, do not delay seeking medical treatment. Waiting to seek medical attention could risk the employer claiming that you were injured at a different time and place. Your treatment will need to coincide closely with the date and time of your accident.
Understanding Premises Liability
Under premises liability law, all property owners are required to keep visitors safe. Property owners must either repair dangerous parts of the property or block off and clearly warn visitors of unsafe areas until repairs can be made. As such, if you or someone you love was injured in a slip-and-fall accident on work property where a property owner was negligent, that property owner is liable for the injuries.
If the property owner is your employer, then you will most likely be filing for workers’ compensation. However, if the property owner is someone other than your employer, you may qualify for a personal injury claim against the property owner in addition to seeking workers’ compensation for your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation in Indiana
Employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers in the event of an accident. Workers’ compensation pays for your medical bills, rehabilitation and a percentage of your lost wages until you can return to work.
You can initiate a workers’ comp claim by requesting and completing form DWC-1. When completing the form, you must include as much specific information as possible about when, how and where the accident occurred.
Indiana workers can qualify for workers’ comp even if the slip and fall was their fault. However, if your employer can prove that you intentionally tried to hurt yourself, your claim would constitute a fraud claim, and you would not be awarded any benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity
By Indiana law, you are not allowed to sue your employer for a slip and fall so long as the accident occurred while you were working and your employer has workers’ comp coverage. Instead, you will need to follow the process to collect workers’ comp as soon as you are able after your accident.
However, if your slip and fall took place on a property where someone other than your employer possesses premises liability, you may qualify for a third-party action personal injury claim.
If your slip and fall occurred somewhere other than employer-owned property, you may be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in his duties under premises liability law. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to see if you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit as a result of your slip and fall.
In a third-party action, you can hold the property owner accountable for your injuries and seek compensation for damages even if your accident occurred during work and qualifies you for workers’ compensation. In many cases, workers’ compensation does not fully cover all expenses (such as lost wages) after an accident. Filing a personal injury claim against the third-party property owner can ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries in full.
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your slip and fall case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.