No matter what industry you work in, you could be at risk of a harmful slip, trip, and fall accident. An oily warehouse floor, liquid spill at a retail store, unsafe scaffolding, or uncovered wires in the office can all expose you to dangerous falls. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the number one killer of construction workers in the United States. If you’ve recently suffered a fall at work and sustained an injury, here’s how to file an injury claim:
Report Your Workplace Incident to Your Employer
First, report the incident to your employer right away. A reporting delay can cast suspicion on the circumstances of your accident and may result in a denied claim. The law requires all employers in Maryland to secure workers’ compensation insurance for all covered employees. Failure to do so can result in a $10,000 maximum penalty. All 50 states have workers’ compensation programs in place to protect injured workers. Under the laws of workers’ compensation, you can receive coverage for your workplace accident–related medical bills, partial lost wages, and disability without having to prove your employer’s fault or negligence.
Your employer should be able to report your accident and injuries to the Maryland workers’ compensation program. Before you seek reparation through workers’ compensation, consider your options. Once you file for workers’ compensation, you give up your right to pursuing a personal injury claim against your employer or a coworker – this is the condition you agree to when you accept compensation from your state’s program. In cases involving someone else’s negligence, you may want to seek counsel from a personal injury attorney before submitting a workers’ compensation claim.
Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries
Falls can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Always seek medical attention after a workplace fall, even if you don’t feel injured. Concussions may not show symptoms for days or even weeks after you sustain a head injury. Visit a doctor as soon as possible and describe the incident, including how it occurred and where you believe you’re injured. A doctor will order the right tests and scans to search for hidden injuries.
It’s important to obtain a medical diagnosis, in writing, of injuries caused by the fall. Do not feel obligated to only visit a doctor on a workers’ compensation list – Maryland law allows you to seek treatment from a doctor of your choosing. In fact, seeing your own doctor may the best choice to help you avoid physicians who are prone to treat patients in a way that caters to the insurance industry. Once you’re on the mend from your workplace injuries, you can focus your attention on receiving monetary compensation.
Consider Legal Counsel Before Accepting Workers’ Compensation
At this point, it may be worthwhile to obtain a free consultation with a local personal injury attorney who specializes in workplace accidents and injuries. If you feel someone’s negligence is at the bottom of your injury, schedule a free consultation with an attorney. A lawyer may listen to your story and believe you have merit for a negligence claim against a coworker, employer, company, or third party. This is especially true in slip and fall cases since they typically involve premises liability laws and hazardous workplace conditions.
A personal injury claim can result in greater compensation for your losses, recovering damages workers’ compensation does not cover. This can include damage recovery for pain and suffering, full lost wages (workers’ compensation gives you a percentage), lost capacity to earn, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and higher awards for permanent disabilities. Get the compensation you deserve from a workplace slip and fall injury with help from an attorney in Maryland.
Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski