We are happy to report another good result for a client. In one of our latest slip and fall at work settlements, our client slipped and fell on ice while at work, injuring his lower back. At first, the injury did not seem very severe, and doctors expected a good recovery. He had a back surgery procedure that is successful for most patients; unfortunately, the surgery did not help our client and left him with lasting pain in his lower back and legs. Since most patients have a successful recovery from the type of injury our client had, his employer argued that he was not injured as badly as he claimed. This is where BWO stepped in to help get the employee the money we knew he deserved based on past slip and fall at work settlements BWO has handled.
Back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries, and slip and fall accidents are a very common cause of them. Despite their frequency, it can be difficult to obtain slip and fall at work settlements. This is due to a few reasons.
For one, in Missouri, there is a burden on the injured party to prove their work injury was the “prevailing factor” in causing their medical condition and/or disability. Another reason, specific to slip and fall at work back injuries, is that sometimes the cause of back pain and pain radiating into the legs is clear from an MRI or diagnostic test, and sometimes it is not. When medical testing provides unclear results, it can be easier for employers to push back on your workers’ compensation claims and reject slip and fall at workers comp settlements in Missouri.
Despite the complexity and difficulty of pursuing slip and fall at work settlements, at Buchanan, Williams, & O’Brien we have a proven track record of winning personal injury cases in Missouri. We even recently settlement a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury that was worse than the MRI findings indicated.
How Are Slip and Fall at Work Settlements Determined?
Slip and fall injuries at work occur frequently. Sometimes the floor is slippery and moist, other times there’s an obstruction which trips you. Regardless of what the cause is, if you have been injured because of a slip and fall at work, your employer might be responsible for those injuries. This means you might be owed money to cover your medical care, or even more.
Slip and fall at work settlements are determined by three factors. The principal considerations that decide the results of slip and fall cases revolve around three chief concerns:
- What party is ultimately accountable for the slip and fall?
- Was the responsible person or entity negligent, or did they contribute to the fall?
- Did the injured party’s actions or lack of action contribute to the accident at all?
To be able to show that somebody is liable for a slip and fall at work, they first need to have a legal obligation for the property and any occurrences which happen on such property. In cases where the proprietor or company has liability insurance coverage, the insurance carrier assumes the liability. This means the injured person has to file slip and fall at work settlements against the insurance company rather than their employer.
To establish negligence, you must prove a lack of regard for the safety of others by failure to behave as a sensible person would. The crux of establishing negligence is determining whether a sensible individual would have been in a position to recognize the situation as potentially harmful, or determining whether the accountable party had the opportunity to rectify the dangerous conditions before the accident.
To summarize negligence and liability as they relate to slip and fall at work settlements: your attorney may try to establish whether the property owner expressly caused the hazardous situation themselves and whether it had been reasonably clear that someone would endure an accident as a result of the circumstance.
Finally, in slip and fall at work settlements, the plaintiff (you) has to be free of responsibility in the accident so as to put all the accountability on the employer, property owner, or insurer. In the event that the injured party had partial responsibility for causing the accident, such as if you were in a restricted part of the building or forgot to wear your non-slip shoes, you may not be able to win your slip and fall at work case.
If you are considering pursuing a slip and fall at work settlement, contact BWO today to get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney advice on the situation. Our attorneys have won many slip and fall at work settlements and will fight to get you the best possible outcome.