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Will my trip-and-fall claim be covered by workers' compensation?

An employer could argue that a slip-and-fall accident shouldn't be something he should be held liable for if the employee was behaving negligently or if there was no negligence on the part of the employer. For example, if you trip and fall over your own two feet, is that the business owner's fault simply because you were at work?

In most workers' compensation situations, if you slip, trip or fall, you can seek medical treatment and know that the Workers' Compensation Commission will approve your claim so long as it took place at work. However, there are times when your claim could be denied even though there is no precedent to do so.

In the past, there was one case where a woman tripped and fell over a carpet at work. She was treated for neck and shoulder pain, but the commission denied her claim. It stated that she could have been hurt anywhere, and there was nothing specific at work that could have contributed to her fall any more than anywhere else.

That decision was later reversed, because even though that fall wasn't a result of a hazard, she was working when she fell. Overall, the courts in the state decided that if you are working or are performing tasks in the course of employment at the time when you are injured, you will be entitled to workers' compensation and can't be denied compensation simply because the same injury could have happened elsewhere or was not specifically caused by a hazard in the workplace. If your claim is denied even though you are an employee and were hurt at work, you can appeal with your attorney's assistance.

Source: Safety News Alert, "Are trip-and-fall injuries eligible for workers’ comp?," accessed Dec. 20, 2016

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Jay Gervasi, P.A.
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