Are Fall Injuries Covered by Workers Compensation?
Falls are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. Whether a worker suffers a slip or trip and falls or falls from a height, such as falling off a ladder or roof or through a hole in the floor, fall accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries. If an employee is injured in a fall on the job, are their injuries covered by workers’ compensation? Keep reading to find out.
Common Injuries from Fall Accidents at Work
Fall accidents can lead to a wide range of debilitating or potentially catastrophic physical injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Muscle and tendon strains and tears
- Herniated disc injuries
- Severe lacerations or abrasions (“road rash” or “rug burn”)
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
Fall injuries most frequently occur in the arms and legs, as the legs may get twisted by a fall and people instinctively throw out their arms to break a fall. However, depending on circumstances such as the height of the fall and whether a person impacts something on the way down, more serious injuries like spinal injuries or brain injuries can occur.
Frequent Causes of Workplace Fall Accidents
Some of the most frequent causes of fall accidents at work include:
- Misuse of ladders
- Improper construction or maintenance of scaffolding
- Slippery or cluttered floors, as well as lack of anti-slip matting or flooring in potentially hazardous areas in the workplace
- Damaged or uneven walking surfaces
- Adverse weather, including rain, snow, or ice
- Lack of fall protection, including harnesses, safety railings, or netting
What to Do If You’ve Fallen at Work
If you have suffered a fall at work, you need to act quickly to protect your rights to recover compensation and other financial benefits that can help you recover from injury. Steps to take include:
- Notify your employer as soon as possible. Make sure there is a written record of the accident and that you suffered injuries.
- Take photos of the area where you fell, if possible.
- See a doctor as soon as possible to get examined for any injuries. While you may seek emergency treatment anywhere you choose, your employer has the right to choose your provider for regular treatment if you seek workers’ compensation benefits.
- Follow your treating provider’s instructions and recommendations.
- Keep copies of any records of expenses you incur, as well as copies of your medical records
Options for Compensation for Work-Related Fall Injuries
Normally, if you are injured in a fall at work, you may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Workers’ comp benefits may include:
- Payment for all reasonable and necessary treatment and rehabilitation of work injuries
- Temporary disability benefits, which provide partial wage replacement if you cannot work while recovering from your injuries
- Permanent partial disability benefits, if your injuries resolve into a permanent impairment to a part of your body that does not prevent you from returning to gainful employment
- Permanent total disability benefits, which may continue wage replacement after the expiration of your temporary disability benefits so long as you cannot work
However, if a third party bears legal responsibility for causing your fall, such as if you fell off a defective ladder, you may have the option of also pursuing a personal injury claim against that third party to recover compensation for expenses and losses not covered by workers’ comp.
Contact a Freehold Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Workplace Injury Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to a workplace accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer represent clients injured in Freehold, Toms River, New Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. Call 866-916-3549 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 82 Court Street, Freehold, NJ 07728, as well as offices in Toms River and New Brunswick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.