Slip and Fall Accidents on the Job
Work Injury Lawyers Helping Employees in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious, long-term harm. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These cases are complicated, and having an accomplished attorney on your side can make a huge difference in your case. To maximize your chances of succeeding in a workers’ compensation claim or in any appeal that becomes necessary, it is best to speak to a Wheaton or Schaumburg workers’ compensation lawyer who can help. At Therman Law Offices, we understand this area of law and can put our knowledge to use in your case.
Pursuing Benefits Following a Slip and Fall Accident on the Job
Slip and fall accidents at the workplace are a leading cause of injury in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in addition to the thousands of non-fatal occupational injuries due to falls, there were 800 work fatalities due to slips or trips and falls in 2015. Falls to a lower level accounted for 81 percent of all fatal falls. Of the cases in which the height of the fall was known, more than two-fifths of the fatal falls took place from 15 feet or lower. In Illinois, 33 workplace fatalities in 2015 could be attributed to falls. In fact, these were the second-most frequent type of fatal workplace event in the state. Workplace falls can have a number of causes, including:
- Wet or slippery floors;
- Cluttered floors;
- Unstable walking surfaces (i.e., uneven floor boards);
- Unsafely positioned equipment, such as ladders or step stools; or
- Holes in floors or wall openings.
Parties in control of worksites in Illinois are legally obligated to take certain precautions to guard against preventable slip and fall accidents. This includes training employees and providing necessary safety equipment. If you have been injured in a fall while on the job, you may be able to recover medical costs, some portion of lost wages, and other benefits through the Illinois workers’ compensation program. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that pays monetary benefits to workers who become injured, ill, or disabled during the course of employment. The insurance policy is paid entirely by the employer and is free for the employee.
Just because you were injured while at your workplace does not automatically mean that you will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You need to show that your injury took place in the course of employment, meaning that you were hurt when you were doing a task connected to your job. In other words, while a worker who has been injured in a slip and fall accident does not need to show fault to recover workers’ compensation benefits, the worker does need to establish that the accident took place while he or she was engaged in an activity that would be considered part of their job. For instance, if you were injured while running a work-related errand for your boss, you would likely qualify for workers’ compensation. However, if you were on lunch break when you slipped and fell, your chances of recovering workers’ compensation benefits will significantly decrease. This is because you typically need to be working in order to qualify for such benefits, and a lunch break would not likely be deemed a work-related activity.
You should be aware that workers’ compensation is an “exclusive remedy” in Illinois, meaning that workers who are hurt on the job typically cannot sue their employer or co-workers. Instead, their only remedy is filing a workers’ compensation claim. That being said, there are certain limited exceptions to this rule. We can examine your case and determine if any of these exceptions may apply.