Around one million people have to go to the emergency room each year in the U.S. because of slip and fall accidents. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), when these types of accidents occur on the job, they often cause significant injuries and are the primary reason that people have to miss work. Additionally, slips and fall accidents cause 11 percent of job-related fatalities faced by men and five percent of workplace deaths for women.
If you are suffering from an injury related to a workplace slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer or an insurance company is disputing your workers’ comp claim after a worksite slip and fall accident, contact a knowledgeable workplace slip and fall accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Our legal team at Joye Law Firm is ready to help you fight for full benefits after a worksite accident. Joye Law Firm was founded more than 50 years ago to help hardworking people throughout South Carolina receive just compensation after serious accidents.
Although every case is unique and compensation awards depend on the details of your specific accident, Joye Law Firm has a track record of helping clients recover significant workers’ comp settlements. As testimonials from our past clients demonstrate, our attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers achieve the best possible results for their cases and providing responsive service to clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace slip-and-fall accident, contact Joye Law Firm right away to review your worksite slip and fall claim. We’re available to meet with you at one of our four conveniently located offices in South Carolina, including North Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton. We’re also happy to meet virtually or send someone to your home or preferred meeting place.
South Carolina Slip and Fall Accidents on the Job
Some of the most common types of on-the-job slip and fall accidents include:
- Parking lot accidents
- Slipping on wet, icy, or other slick surfaces
- Falling on the same level
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Falling off of a platform, chair, scaffolding, ladder, roof, or other elevated areas
- Tripping on a damaged surface
- Sidewalk accidents
- Falling over merchandise or obstacles in a walkway
- Construction site accidents
If you are suffering from an injury after any type of workplace slip and fall accident, then you might be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Under South Carolina’s workers’ comp laws, most employers with four or more employees must maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation benefits cover:
Benefits typically pay for any medical treatment you need to recover from a work-related injury, including prescriptions, surgery, prosthetic devices, medical supplies, and hospitalization. This includes reimbursement for travel to the doctor or a pharmacy if these facilities are more than ten miles from your home.
If you must miss at least seven days of work because of your injury, then you can receive weekly checks reimbursing 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage while you are recovering from the accident. The payments should continue until your doctor says you are able to go back to work.
Disability or Disfigurement
If the accident leaves you with a significant scar or disability, then you may be entitled to additional compensation.
Under South Carolina workers’ compensation law, employers are generally shielded from being sued by their employees over workplace injuries. However, in cases where another party, such as an equipment manufacturer or contracting group, was responsible for the workplace accident, you may have a right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. A knowledgeable workplace injury lawyer at Joye Law can evaluate your worksite accident, discuss your legal options, and help you with all the details of your claim.
Common Causes of Workplace Slips, Trips, and Falls
Some of the most common causes of workplace slips, trips, and falls include:
- Spilled liquids on floors
- Texting, reading, or engaging in distractions while walking downstairs
- Grease or oil spilled on a walkway
- Improper use of equipment
- Potholes, ditches, or other holes in flooring or walls
- Failing to follow safety regulations or building codes
- Recently polished or mopped walkways
- Improper maintenance of property or machinery
- Ramps without anti-slip surfaces
- Standing on tables, chairs, or furniture with wheels
- Elevator, escalator, or other equipment malfunctions
- Failure to provide proper safety equipment, such as harnesses and safety nets
- Poorly positioned ladders, including those that are on uneven ground or resting on an unstable surface
- Rushing through a crowded area or down a ramp or staircase
- Defective equipment
- Uncleared water, mud, ice, gravel, sleet, or snow on a sidewalk or parking lot
- Poor lighting
- Loose cords or cables
- Failure to post warning signs or barriers around hazardous areas
- Improper footwear
- Falling merchandise or other objects
- Improperly stacked or overloaded merchandise
- Loose floorboards, torn carpeting, broken tiles or other uneven or unstable surfaces
- Failure to train staff on safety procedures
- Merchandise, equipment, trash, or other clutter in a walkway
- Inclement weather
- Failing to fix a damaged walkway or other dangerous surfaces
- Uneven stairs or staircases with broken or missing handrails
Common Injuries Resulting from a Slip and Fall Accident
Around 20 to 30 percent of victims of accidents such as falls suffer moderate or severe injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some common injuries from fall accidents include:
- Bruises or scrapes
- Torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts or lacerations
- Hip or pelvis fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken kneecap, arm, leg, or other bones
- Internal injuries
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Workplace Slip and Fall
If you are injured in a workplace slip and fall accident, there are some steps you can take to help protect your rights:
Report the accident
It’s critical to notify your employer as soon as possible. Under South Carolina’s workers’ comp laws, you may lose your right to benefits if you fail to report your injury to your employer within 90 days of the accident.
Upon notification, in most cases, the employer will then start the process for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your employer doesn’t report the accident or denies that your injury was job-related, then you have up to two years after the accident date to file a claim for benefits.
Get medical assistance
When you report your accident to your employer, it’s important to request medical treatment. The employer should provide you with a list of doctors who can treat your work-related injury. Seeing a medical professional serves as important documentation to support your claim for workers’ comp benefits.
If you aren’t happy with the doctor that your employer recommends, you can petition the insurance company to let you change doctors. If they refuse to cooperate, you have the right to request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC).
While injured employees typically don’t have to prove that anyone’s negligence caused their accident to receive workers’ compensation benefits, it’s helpful to have documentation in case an employer or insurance administrator denies your claim or tries to offer you benefits that are less than you deserve. If a third party caused your accident, then this evidence will be important if you file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
Contact an experienced South Carolina workplace slip and fall attorney
A lawyer at Joye Law Firm can handle all the details of your injury claim, so you can focus on recovering from the accident. A lawyer can help explain your legal options, gather evidence to help you build a strong case and file all the necessary paperwork, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Workplace Fall Injury Statistics by Industry
According to the National Safety Council, over 800 people died in workplace fall accidents in 2016, and more than 48,000 others suffered injuries that were serious enough that they had to miss work. Although construction workers experienced seven times more deaths from work-related falls than people in other industries, workers in every sector suffered from these types of accidents.
The construction industry saw more than 380 deaths and more than 24,500 injuries from accidents involving falls on the same level or from elevated surfaces. Meanwhile, over 100 workers died in work-related falls in professional and business services, nearly 50 people in manufacturing, and nearly 50 in warehousing and transportation. Additionally, nearly 30 people died in workplace fall accidents in retail trade, more than 20 workers in wholesale trade, and nearly 20 people in education and health services.