Can I File a Premises Liability Claim if I Slip and Fall at Work?
September 6, 2023
Pennsylvania workers in multiple industries face inherent risks on the job every day. According to the CDC, slip and fall accidents cause the death of nearly 40,000 Americans every year. Many slip and falls happen on job sites or while completing work-related tasks. Often, workers will speak to their employer about filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, if you slip and fall at work, there is a chance that other negligent parties are responsible for your accident and injury.
If you suffer a slip and fall injury at work, you may be able to pursue a premises liability lawsuit in addition to a Workers’ Compensation claim. Third-party claims allow injured workers to recover more comprehensive damages. An experienced lawyer can help ensure all available claims are filed in pursuit of maximum compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents lead to the most personal injury litigation after car accident cases. Slip and falls, as well as trip and falls, can happen in various ways. Most of these accidents are caused by a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, resulting in an injury.
Slips usually occur when a person loses their footing on a wet or icy surface. People often trip when their foot hits a misplaced object on the ground or uneven bricks on the pavement. Although these kinds of accidents may seem minor, they are some of the most common that can have serious consequences.
What Are Common Causes of Slip and Falls at Work?
Many people think of slip of fall accidents at grocery stores, retail businesses, residential homes, apartment complexes, and various public places. The reality is that workers in multiple fields across the country are at risk of experiencing a slip and fall or trip and fall on the job every day.
The following are common conditions that can lead to slip and falls at work:
- Wet or oily surfaces: Spilled liquids never cleaned up or handled by management with marked warnings can put workers at risk.
- Loose mats and floor coverings: Workplaces with torn carpeting or old mats in a high-traffic area can pose hazards to workers.
- Poor lighting: Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees, including adequately installed lighting and working light bulbs.
- Uncovered cables and wires: Many workplaces have loose wires or extension cords running along the floor that should be taped flat to prevent a trip and fall accident.
- Weather hazards: Employers should ensure walkways and steps are salted and shoveled to keep workers safe from slipping and falling.
- Loose or uneven flooring: Unsecured tiles, loose floorboards, potholes, and cracked pavement are all dangerous work conditions.
- Obstacles and debris: Work materials, tools, equipment, and fallen debris left out on platforms or walkways are common causes of trip and falls at work.
- Bad housekeeping: Cleaning up regularly and removing waste is necessary to keep workplaces from slip and trip hazards.
What Are Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
Slip and fall injuries can be much more severe than many realize. A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere there are hazardous conditions. However, external factors of a job site can make slip and falls more dangerous at work than at home or a store. The resulting injuries can be life-threatening when a worker falls from a great height on a job site.
Some common slip and fall injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Muscle strains and sprains.
- Limb injuries.
- Concussion and other head trauma.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Spinal cord damage.
- Partial or total paralysis.
Who Is Liable if I Sustain a Slip and Fall Injury at Work?
In many circumstances, slip and fall is due to the negligence of someone other than the worker’s employer. In these cases, in addition to collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits, the injured worker can file a premises liability claim against the individual or entity who created the hazardous condition. Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited, while the damages that can be recovered in a third-party lawsuit are much broader and can more fully compensate the worker for the harm they suffered.
Some examples of third parties who may be responsible for your slip and fall at work include:
- Property owners.
- Maintenance and cleanup crews.
- General contractors and subcontractors.
- Vendors on worksites.
- Manufacturers of defective products.
- Machinery and equipment repair shops.
- Parties responsible for conducting regular inspections.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
Workers’ Compensation claims are generally limited to medical expenses and partial wage replacement. Fortunately, more extensive compensation is often available through a third-party claim.
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
- Physical therapy.
- Mental health treatment.
- Medically necessary equipment or devices.
- Out-of-pocket medication costs.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of life’s enjoyment.
- Wrongful death.
We Can Handle Your Third-Party Claim
Our premises liability lawyers have had great success helping workers with slip and fall claims recover substantial financial awards:
- $10 Million Recovery for Construction Site Fall. Galfand Berger’s client, a 40-year-old construction framer, fell from the second floor of a house under construction and suffered multiple skull fractures and a severe traumatic brain injury.
- $2.5 million settlement for fall from tanker truck: Our client was a truck driver who experienced a debilitating 12-foot fall at a South Jersey refinery owned. His injuries included a broken left hip, broken left eye socket bones, permanent hearing loss, and disequilibrium. We argued that the refinery’s inadequate safety precautions caused our client’s permanent disability. We were prepared for a two-week trial but were able to settle the matter at mediation for $2.5 million.
- $1.4 million verdict for worker who fell from truck: Our client was seriously injured while unloading pipes from a truck at work. He fell and fractured both heels when the improperly loaded pipes rolled off the truck. We successfully argued that the defendant should have secured the pipes on the truck better and achieved a $1.4 million verdict for the injured worker.
- $1.05 Million Settlement following workplace fall. A Lehigh Valley construction worker was injured after falling on the jobsite and fracturing his femur, multiple vertebrae, and four ribs. We proved that the general contractor’s poor excavation had created the condition that caused our client to fall and the equipment rental company failed to properly train our client.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Workers Recover Maximum Compensation After Slip and Fall Accidents
Our Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP proudly help injured workers with third-party claims after slip and fall accidents. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.