Slip and Fall Accidents on the Job
Workers’ compensation laws are designed in such a manner that an injured employee receives benefits including medical care and temporary disability payments in a simpler, streamlined fashion, as compared to a traditional tort case. While ideally a person hurt at work can be receiving the benefits much sooner than, for example, a person hurt in a non-work-related automobile crash, there are many factors than can complicate a work injury claim. One of those situations can occur when a worker is injured in a slip and fall accident on the job. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., our Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyers have many years of experience representing injured individuals and the families of workers who perished on the job. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident or have suffered a work-related injury in another manner, we welcome your call.
The term “slip and fall” is often used in personal injury lawsuits in which an individual, often a customer at a shop, restaurant, or other business, seeks monetary compensation from a business operator or landowner for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or loss of consortium (a derivative claim filed by an injured person’s spouse). In such cases, which may also be called “premises liability” lawsuits, fall-down cases, or trip-and-falls, the plaintiff does not usually receive any payment from the defendant until the case is settled or a jury enters a verdict in the plaintiff’s case following a trial. Slip and fall cases are based in negligence law and place the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances of the accident, and that this breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injuries for which the plaintiff seeks money damages.How Slip and Fall Cases and Workers’ Compensation Claims Differ
In most instances, after a slip and fall accident on the job, a worker cannot file a lawsuit against his or her employer, even if the employer or a co-worker acted negligently, or in a manner that would not have been considered reasonable by a prudent person under the same or similar circumstances. This is because of the exclusive remedy rule, a legal doctrine that prevents employees from filing negligence lawsuits against their employers when the employee could, instead, receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation claims require the injured employee to show that he or she was injured during the course and scope of his or her employment, but the injured worker does not have to show that the employer or its agent(s) was negligent, careless, or reckless in causing the plaintiff’s accident.
If an employee is hurt on someone else’s premises, however, he or she may possibly maintain both a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer and a slip and fall action against a third party. For example, if a person employed by a delivery company slips and falls in the entryway of a business to which he or she is delivering a package, the employee may file a negligence lawsuit against the business if it acted negligently. However, under the principles of subrogation, the employee may have to repay two-thirds of the workers’ compensation benefits received from the employer or its insurance company. Workers’ compensation benefits are often lower than the amount that would be possible in a successful slip and fall lawsuit, but they can begin soon after an injury, providing much-needed financial relief to the injured worker, who is likely dealing with lost wages and medical expenses, which the employer or its insurance company will also pay – even if two-thirds of these benefits must someday be repaid to the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Serving Rockland County
Being hurt in a slip and fall accident on the job can lead to serious personal injuries and complex, protracted litigation. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job and is facing mounting medical expenses, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., can help you get started on filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and/or a negligence lawsuit against a third-party business responsible for your injuries. Call us now at 845.708.5900, contact us online, or call Valerie’s cell phone cell phone 24/7 at 845.598.8253 for an appointment. We serve clients throughout Rockland County and Greater New York, including Westchester, Orange, and Dutchess Countie (anywhere from Suffolk to Ulster Counties).