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AM I ABLE TO SUE MY EMPLOYER FOR MY FALL?
If you have suffered injuries in a fall, you may be able to take legal action against your employer. However, this will depend on the facts of the case such as when you were hurt and where the fall took place. Let’s take a closer look at when you would be able to take action against the company that you work for.
Did the Fall Occur When You Were Working?
In the event that you fell while you were performing job duties for your employer, you may be limited to a workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured employees with a fast and easy way to get reimbursed for medical bills and lost wages.
Unfortunately, an injured worker is typically unable to pursue a personal injury lawsuit even if he or she could get more money that way. However, it may be possible to file a personal injury suit if an injury was caused by gross negligence on behalf of the employer or if the fall was caused by a defective piece of equipment.
What If the Fall Occurred During Personal Time?
Your legal options may be different if the fall occurred while you were off the clock. Let’s say that you were at the grocery store where you worked to pick up your paycheck or to pick up a friend at the end of his or her shift. If you were to fall on a wet floor or trip over a rug, you may be entitled to file a premises liability lawsuit against your employer.
This is generally true even if your employer merely rents the property where the accident occurs. The law generally assigns liability to the person or entity that uses the property. Furthermore, the rental agreement between a business tenant and a property owner usually contains language requiring the tenant to assume liability for anything that happens on the premises.
What If the Fall Occurred While Traveling for Work?
Whenever you are performing job duties for an employer, the company is obligated to keep you safe. This means that if you fell while boarding a plane on your way to a business meeting, your employer could be liable for damages. The same is true if the fall took place while walking to a hotel room or anywhere else you happened to be under the control of your employer.
What Does Your Employment Contract Say?
Employers may require employees to agree to settle employment issues in arbitration as opposed to in court. Therefore, you may be required to pursue arbitration as opposed to a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Typically, you are allowed to bring an attorney into an arbitration session and present evidence. Unlike a workers compensation or personal injury case, the ruling of an arbitrator is not subject to appeal.
What If a Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
It is important to note that workers’ compensation claims are decided by an insurance company and not by your employer. Therefore, if a claim is denied, you should talk with the insurance company directly. You may also want to get an attorney who may be able to review the claim as well as look into why it was denied. If it is discovered that your employer withheld information from the insurance company or otherwise interfered during the claim process, it may be possible to take legal action to remedy the situation.
Can You Prove Negligence In a Personal Injury Case?
If you are pursuing a personal injury case against your employer, it will be necessary to show that negligence took place. This means that the employer knew that there were wet floors, icy sidewalks or other dangerous conditions that led to your fall. Furthermore, you would need to show that your own actions were not the main cause of the fall taking place.
A fall can result in serious injuries to the legs, back or other areas of the body. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to talk to an attorney who may be able to review your case. He or she may also be able to represent you in court or wherever else you choose to pursue justice.
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