Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of accident in the workplace, including in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Falls on slick floors account for about 85 percent of all worker’s compensation claims, and 22 percent of those accidents cause victims to be off the job for at least a month. Among the various injuries that these falls might cause, head injuries are the most serious. If you hit your head after slipping on a wet floor at work, it’s nothing to be taken lightly. Here are some steps you should take to minimize serious health risks and ensure you are properly compensated for your healthcare costs and time off work.
Get Medical Attention Right Away—Even If You Believe You Are Not Injured
Just because you’re not bleeding from the head, don’t assume you’re okay. Even a seemingly mild concussion can have major complications if not properly cared for. Unseen swelling of the brain or internal bleeding can cause permanent brain damage—and some people (like, famously, Natasha Richardson) have died within days of a seemingly insignificant blow to the head. Additionally, if you delay medical treatment and your condition worsens, it could affect your worker’s compensation claim. Always get checked by a doctor after hitting your head on a floor, no matter how minor it seems. If it’s not serious, you’re none the worse. If it is, you may very well save your own life.
Follow Doctor’s Orders After the Accident
Once you have been diagnosed and treated, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions closely. This may include taking time off work, wearing a brace, or avoiding strenuous physical or mental activity. Don’t return to work until your doctor gives the okay. Not only will this ensure your best chance at recovery, but it also prevents worker’s compensation insurance from claiming you wrongfully aggravated your condition.
File a Worker’s Compensation Claim
Because your slip-and-fall head injury occurred on the job, worker’s compensation should cover the costs of your medical treatment and restore a part of your lost income for time off work. However, there are deadlines to meet. In California, to be eligible for worker’s comp benefits, you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days, and you must file your worker’s comp claim within one year of the accident. Failing to do either of these could disqualify you from payment.
When to Talk to a Work Injury Attorney near Los Angeles
In a perfect world, your slip-and-fall injury would be covered automatically, but things don’t always happen that way, and sometimes a work injury attorney needs to get involved. Be sure to contact a workers comp attorney if:
- Worker’s compensation delays or denies your claim;
- Your employer didn’t carry worker’s comp insurance; or
- If a negligent third party caused your slip-and-fall injury (for example, if the slippery floor was at a third-party job site, you may be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit).
Serving the towns of Tarzana, Bakersfield, and other Southern California communities, the attorneys at Accident Defenders are here to protect your rights. Call us at 323-591-2829 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.