Q Does my work accident count as a “slip and fall?”
You may have been warned about slip and fall injuries in the workplace, especially as wet floors and icy sidewalks dominate the winter months. While these kinds of accidents are responsible for thousands of workplace injuries (as well as trips to the emergency room) every year, many employees will become victims without realizing they have suffered a slip and fall.
The word “slip” may be to blame for the confusion. The term “slip and fall” is easy to remember, but the truth is that any nearly any type of movement can precede a fall—and many of these should be covered by workers’ compensation, including:
- Slip accidents. Slips are commonly caused by standing water or ice on a surface, causing the person’s foot to lose traction with the ground.
- Tripping accidents. These accidents cause falls when a person’s foot is “caught” by an object in his path.
- Stump-and-falls. If the employee catches his foot or toe on a small impediment (such as a fold in the carpet or tree root), he may have a stumble or “stump” and fall accident.
- Step accident. If the employee steps into a hole, divot, or sudden change in the walking surface, the unexpected change can result in a step-and-fall accident.
- Reaction accidents. Even in cases where employees are able to stop themselves from falling completely, their muscles and joints may still react to the fall, causing torn ligaments and even fractures as a result.
Is My Employer Liable If I Suffered a Slip and Fall Accident?
Employers have a duty to provide their workers with a safe working environment. If your employer was aware of a potentially hazardous situation and did not attempt to correct it in a timely manner, he or she may be liable for the costs of your injury and lost time from work. Download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide, to find out more, or fill out the short contact form on this page to ask us a question about your case.