Slip-And-Fall Accidents #1 Cause Of Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you may be familiar with workers’ compensation insurance. In Maryland, the vast majority of employers are required to have it. In theory, workers’ compensation insurance guarantees that employees who are injured on the job and in the course of their employment will receive medical care and paid time off while they recover, and in exchange, they cannot sue their employer. Of course, it’s not always so clean cut. Many businesses wish to limit their insurance liability by discouraging claims from being made and insurance companies also have a vested interest in paying out as few claims as possible. However, of all the claims that were reported and paid out, the number one culprit for workplace injury and accidental death were slip-and-fall accidents. In fact, statistics reflect that nearly 250,000 employees filed workers’ compensation claims for slip-and-fall accidents last year and were injured badly enough to require multiple days off of work to recover. Additionally, 880 employees died as a result of slip-and-fall accidents at the workplace.
Slip-and-Fall Hazards in the Workplace
It goes without saying that some jobs carry more inherent slip-and-fall risk than others. Construction workers statistically have the highest probability of falling on the job. In fact, their risk of falling from fatal heights is more than seven times the risk experienced by workers in other industries. However, it’s important to understand that slip-and-fall accidents can–and do–happen anywhere. In fact, of the 880 employees who died as a result of slips and falls, 146 were killed in slips and falls where no height was involved. In other words, they slipped, fell, and died on a flat surface. This means that an office employee slipping on spilled coffee and a mechanic slipping on spilled oil can suffer a fatal slip-and-fall accident just as an employee who climbs telephone poles for a living. In that sense, employers must be vigilant about minimizing and addressing slip-and-fall hazards as they arise. Something as innocuous as a piece of computer paper on a tile floor could result in a fatal accident. This is particularly true if the person slipping is over the age of 55, as that dramatically increases the likelihood of serious injury and death as the result of a slip or fall.
Why Are Slip-and-Fall Accidents so Deadly?
Slip-and-fall accidents can be deadly for a number of reasons. For employees over the age of 55, slip-and-fall accidents are likely to result in hip fractures which are incredibly serious and can result in death, infection, and other complicating conditions. Additionally, slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. These injuries occur when normal brain function is interrupted by a bump or jolt to the head. This tends to occur in the vast majority of slip-and-fall cases. In serious cases, a slip-and-fall accident can even fracture the skull and cause swelling of the brain. However, even in cases where someone suffers a concussion the long-term consequences of a traumatic brain injury can be serious and life-altering.
Talk to a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered a serious injury at work and are struggling to get the support and compensation that you are entitled to, contact the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP and schedule a consultation today.