I Slipped and Fell at Work. Workers' Comp or Slip-and-Fall?
Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common sources of personal injury lawsuits. Falls are also one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, which are covered by workers’ compensation.
Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at work in North Carolina, you could have a workers’ compensation claim and a slip-and-fall lawsuit. It depends on the circumstance of your accident. The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor will investigate the accident to identify all the potentially responsible parties who may be liable after your injury.
If you are injured while at work and/or while performing your assigned job duties, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in most cases. Your eligibility may be challenged if you were involved in horseplay that led to your injury or if you were impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs, and your impairment led to the accident that caused your injury.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that employers must extend to each employee, with certain exceptions. In exchange for this coverage, an employee gives up the right to sue their employer for any negligence that leads to an accident and injury. But only the worker’s employer has this protection. Others who were negligent may be held accountable if they are responsible for your workplace injury.
In cases where someone other than the employer causes a worker’s injury, the injured worker may seek compensation through a third-party claim. For example, many slip-and-fall accidents are caused by wet floors. If a co-worker mopped a floor and left it to dry without a warning of the wet and slippery surface under direction of your employer, you would not be able to sue your employer.
On the other hand, if an employee of a contracted cleaning company failed to warn about the wet and hazardous surface, and you slipped and fell, you may have a claim against the cleaning company in addition to obtaining workers’ compensation from your employer. The allegedly negligent party in this case is not your employer. The contracted cleaner’s employee and/or their supervisor would be a non-employer third party and may be held liable for your accident.
The same principle would apply in similar cases, such as:
- A caterer for a company dinner you were required to attend failed to clean up a spill that caused your slip-and-fall accident
- An HVAC repair contractor failed to tighten a valve above a hallway in your office, which allowed a leak that caused a puddle you slipped and fell in
- While attending a class at a local jobs center required by your employer, you slipped and fell in a puddle formed on a poorly maintained breezeway between the classroom and the parking lot
- A contractor who erected scaffolding on a construction site declared the structure ready for use despite an oily substance spilled on a deck, which led to your slip-and-fall accident
- The contracted landscaping company at your office building left a light coating of sand on pavement outside a doorway where you exited and slipped and fell
- The contractor for the renovation of your office building’s lobby installed a slippery stone for the floor, which is where you lost your footing and fell. The interior designer who selected the stone might also be liable for this accident.
In each of these cases, you were injured while at work or attending to assigned job duties, but any potential negligence that caused your accident was on the part of someone other than your employer. This could provide the basis for a personal injury claim that seeks compensation beyond the benefits provided by your workers’ compensation claim.
We suggest that anyone with an accident similar to one described above contact The Law Offices Of Jason E. Taylor to discuss the circumstances of their injury. There may be several factors connected to a potential claim or multiple claims, but we can ensure a full exploration of your legal options and that we’ll work to help you obtain the maximum compensation available.