According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of death and disability in the workplace, accounting for more than one in five workers’ compensation claims across the U.S. Although most likely to occur on construction sites, a slip & fall accident in Maryland is common in other job settings, including:
- Healthcare facilities
Locations of a Slip and Fall Accident
A workplace slip and fall accident occurs when an employee loses footing and falls down. This can happen indoors or outdoors on surfaces such as:
- The floor
- The ground
- A stairway or steps
- A ladder
- A ramp
- An elevated platform
Common Causes of Slip & Falls Accidents in Maryland
There are many causes of workplace slip and fall accidents in Maryland, including:
- Cluttered, loose, or uneven surfaces
- Loose/wrinkled rugs or mats
- Cables, wires, tubing, hoses, or debris on the floor/ground
- Snow or ice on the ground
- Oil/fluid spills
- Wet or soapy surfaces
- Waxed and polished floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Visual obstructions
- Missing hand railings
- Contact with equipment, vehicles, or other employees
Common Injuries Resulting from Slip and Fall Accidents
A wide range of injuries result from slip and fall mishaps, including:
- Joint sprains/strains
- Fractured/broken bones
- Back/spinal cord injuries
- Concussions/brain injuries
Workers’ Compensation for Maryland Slip and Fall Accidents
Essentially every business with employees (except for some agricultural businesses) is required by Maryland law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation in Maryland provides no-fault coverage of medical bills and lost wages to employees with work-related injuries or illnesses. Although many employees assume that a slip and fall is not covered by workers’ comp because it’s thought to be the result of clumsiness on the part of the worker, this is not true. Injuries resulting from a work-related slip and fall accident in Hagerstown, MD, should be covered as long as the accident:
- Happened in the course of carrying out your job duties
- Arose out of your job duties
- Happened by chance and without design
- Was unexpected and unintentional
- Did not result from drug or alcohol use
You don’t have to show your employer was at fault for your injury in order to file a claim. Even if your slip and fall was your own fault, your injuries can still be covered. Your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you or fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Steps to Follow After a Work-Related Slip and Fall
If you slip and fall while at work and are unable to continue performing on the job, there are steps you need to take following your accident to help ensure you receive workers’ comp benefits:
- Report your injury to your employer. You have 10 days to do this, but you should do it immediately. Any delay could be cited by the insurance company as evidence that your injuries are not serious. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your right to benefits.
- Fill out an accident report if necessary. This is generally up to your employer and could require evidence of your injuries. Your employer should notify the insurance company of your accident report.
- File a claim form with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (MWCC). Although you have 60 days to file, you shouldn’t wait. You may either:
- Fill out the claim form online, print it, complete it, sign it, and mail it to the MWCC.
- Request a paper form from the MWCC, fill it out, sign it, and mail it in. Only original hard copies are accepted.
- Seek medical care for your injuries. Follow all medical advice and treatment plans, keeping bills and receipts to document your injuries and treatment.
- Wait for notice of the insurance company’s decision. It should arrive with 21 days after you file your claim.
If your injuries are not too serious and your claim is accepted, you might be able to collect benefits without the help of a lawyer. The insurance company, however, could find ways to deny or devalue your claim if your injuries are severe and the settlement you deserve is a large one. Some reasons given for claim denials are:
- Missed deadlines
- Form incorrectly filled out
- Injuries not work related
- Pre-existing conditions
- No medical documentation
- Previous worker’s comp claims
If your claim is denied or the settlement offered is too low, you have the right to appeal to:
- The MWCC
- Maryland Circuit Court
- Maryland Appellate Court
Navigating the appeals process can be complicated and frustrating, and it’s helpful to hire an experienced lawyer who can greatly increase your chances of collecting fair benefits for your work-related slip and fall injury.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Work-Related Slip & Fall Accident in Maryland, We Can Help!
An experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney can fight to get you fair benefits while you focus on recovery. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.