Cracked, torn or uneven flooring. Poor lighting. Spilled liquid. Exposed cables. What do these workplace hazards have in common? They all contribute to the most common type of job-related accident: slip and fall.
Each year, according to the National Safety Council, more than one million workers’ compensation claims are filed for slip and fall injuries. Usually, the damage is relatively minor. Sprained tendons, ligaments and muscles; minor bruises; and small gashes make up the majority of slip and fall injuries. But sometimes, a slip and fall results in something much more serious: head trauma, a herniated disc, a bone fracture, or even amputation.
If you slip and fall on the job and decide to file for workers’ compensation, chances are your claim won’t be an unusual one. After all, slip and falls account for over 20 percent of all workplace injuries. But just because cases like yours have been seen thousands of times before doesn’t mean you won’t have a tough time collecting your benefits.
At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we’ve helped countless workers injured in slip and fall accidents get the benefits they desperately need to make a full recovery. Depending on the severity of your condition, the claims process can be a lengthy one. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect for most soft-tissue injuries.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Your slip and Fall Injury
Regardless of the reason for your slip and fall, all workers compensation injuries must be proven to result directly from the performance of job-related duties. To do this, you’ll have to file a “first report of injury” form (DWC-1) with your employer. This is where you’ll note specific details about your slip and fall such as the time, date, and cause of the accident.
Next, your employer will give you a list of approved physicians that are paid for as part of your workers’ compensation benefits. After choosing a physician, you’ll go in for an evaluation. If necessary, you may be referred to a specialist who concentrates in the area of your injury such as a chiropractor, podiatrist, or orthopedist. Once you’ve reached a level of maximum medical improvement (MMI), you’ll receive a return to work form, noting your limitations or clearance to resume your job duties.
Of course, the process doesn’t always go this smoothly. Perhaps there is a question of liability, or maybe your insurance adjuster is looking for ways to deny you the benefits you’re owed. If you can’t reach a settlement, you may have to take your claim past the negotiation stage and file a lawsuit. This is where an attorney becomes invaluable.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If your slip and fall accident has left you seriously injured or if your employer has refused liability for your accident, navigating the complicated workers’ compensation system isn’t something you’ll want to do alone. At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, our attorneys have years of experience and leverage in the legal system. We can subpoena records, take depositions, and file a lawsuit if necessary.
At Gerald D. Brody & Associates, your initial consultation is free, and there’s no obligation for representation should you decide to proceed without the help of an attorney. Call us today to maximize your chances of a successful workers’ compensation payout. We’ll do everything we possibly can to get you the benefits you deserve.