Smith & Baltaxe, LLP

Wet Floors and Falls at Work - Who Is Liable?

By Byron Smith on January 09, 2019

Wet surface warning signMost slip and fall accidents can and should be avoided. Unfortunately, these accidents occur on a daily basis.

If you slip and fall at work on account of wet floors, a slip and fall attorney at Smith & Baltaxe can help you file a workers’ compensation claim. In this blog post, we discuss wet floors and falls at work. For a review of your case, contact our San Francisco, CA practice today.

Types of Injuries Caused by Falls on Wet Floors in the Workplace

Some falls are minor and do not cause any serious injuries. However, there are cases in which falls cause serious injuries, such as:

  • Spinal cord injury: Workers can fall on their back, causing a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, neck and back injuries can lead to permanent disability.
  • Traumatic brain injury: If a worker slips and falls backwards, it can lead to head impact. This can cause a concussion or more serious brain injury.
  • Broken bones: Breaks and fractures can occur in the feet, ankles, or legs as workers attempt to regain their balance. Or, the worker may instinctively and reflexively attempt to break the fall with the hands, wrists, or arms, causing fractures in these areas.

In some cases, injuries are not immediately apparent. It is important to undergo a medical examination to understand the full scope of trauma.

How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents at Work?

Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common types of workplace injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these accidents account for more than 25 percent of workplace injuries that result in missed time from work.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims

According to premises liability laws in California, a property owner can be liable for any injury you suffer on account of his or her failure to sufficiently maintain the premises. If an injury occurs, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the property owner.

However, in the case of a fall at work, most employees will file a workers’ compensation claim against the employer. Workers’ compensation insurance is in place to reimburse the employee for lost wages or medical expenses related to the fall at work.

Typically, a worker can’t file a personal injury lawsuit if he or she has already filed a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to determine what type of claim you wish to file before proceeding with legal action.

What to Do If You Slip and Fall on a Wet Surface at Work

The final outcome of a personal injury or workers’ compensation case depends on the evidence. After the accident, if possible, you should:

  • Call emergency services
  • Take photographs of the area in which the accident occurred
  • Collect names and addresses for witnesses to the accident
  • Document everything you remember about the accident
  • Receive medical attention
  • Speak with a workers’ compensation attorney

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have suffered a serious injury due to a wet surface at work, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Smith & Baltaxe. We can help you meet workers’ compensation requirements, or we can determine if a personal injury lawsuit should be filed in your case. Call us at (415) 292-7800 or contact us online.

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