A slip and fall injury in the workplace is unfortunately common. They send thousands of people to the hospital every year across the country. The injury from a slip and fall can be quite serious in many cases. They can even cause severe, long-term chronic pain and death.
Approximately 1 in 5 falls result in a serious injury, with the leading injury in this category being traumatic brain injury. A slip and fall in the workplace is nothing to take lightly. Here is what to do after a slip and fall injury in the workplace.
1. Seek medical attention after the slip and fall
After a slip and fall, the most important thing is getting checked out by a physician at a local emergency room. Even if you feel relatively fine, this could change in the hours or days ahead. Whenever there is an issue, have it looked at by a physician.
Has it been documented? This will eventually become evidence for applications for benefits or a potential court case. Don’t wait to see how you feel tomorrow. The day the slip and fall happens, have it examined.
2. Notify your employer about the slip and fall
Be transparent with your employer about what happened. Let them know what caused the fall, any details that could indicate potential injuries, if you hit your head, any body parts that were twisted and impacted, and if you’re feeling pain. This is to make it clear that the injury occurred on the job.
Some worker benefits cases are argued by saying the injury did not happen in the workplace. Do not waste time in reporting the accident, either. They could argue you weren’t injured too badly, or you would have contacted your employer sooner.
3. Investigate future slip and fall in the workplace
When you slip and fall, other than visible injuries – broken bones, wounds, etc. – you may also experience things happening in the days to follow that tie into the accident. Pain and stiffness, sprains and strains to muscles or joints, and closed head injuries are non-visible slip and fall injuries. If more of these develop, get yourself evaluated by a doctor so that it’s documented. Also, notify your employer and keep them in the loop of what’s happening. Again, don’t wait to report.
4. File a slip and fall benefits claim
There may be a deadline to filing a claim, or you risk losing your right to financial assistance and benefits. After you notify your employer of the injury, if they don’t already offer, request the forms and instructions for filing a claim. Verify your worker’s compensation wage replacement. Make sure it’s the right number. Understand how they are calculating it. If you believe it’s the wrong number, a slip and fall lawyer can certainly assist you with the next steps.
5. Document the slip and fall
Save information about doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and physical therapy. Take photographs of your injuries if they are visible. If you can, take photos of the area in which the accident occurred as soon after the slip and fall as possible.
If neglect was involved and documented or the nature of your injuries is doubted, this evidence will support your claims. This process of gathering evidence will be required should you decide to apply for benefits. A workplace injury should always be documented to the fullest.
6. Seek a second medical opinion
If you do not believe your physician isn’t taking your injury seriously, you have the right to seek a second opinion. In some cases, if you’re going through insurance, they may have a doctor approved by them for you to see. Don’t let that discourage you. Also, if you end up with an extremely serious injury, your case should be forwarded to a specialist to evaluate you and provide further guidance.
7. Follow health directions to recovery
If the doctor tells you to stay off your feet for two weeks, don’t come back in a week and a half. If you’re offered physical therapy or rehabilitation of any kind, accept it and show up. Follow the directions you’re given to heal yourself. It’s important. Whether a claim progresses to a dispute or not, a slip and fall injury victim does not want to come off as not interested in getting better. Every opportunity you’re given to try something that could improve your health, take it.
8. Consult a slip and fall lawyer
If you have trouble getting your claim approved, speak with a lawyer. They can help gather evidence and fight on your behalf. You might have several options available to you, including a third-party lawsuit if there was negligence involved. Furthermore, if insurance attempts to recover benefit payments or has stopped benefit payments following injuries stemming from a slip and fall injury, these are other reasons to contact an experienced lawyer.