Who is Responsible for my Slip and Fall at Work?
Let’s say you work as a lifeguard at the local community pool. One of the main responsibilities of the lifeguards is to make sure the pool area is clear of any standing water. As you start your shift for the day, you realize the lifeguards before you failed to clean up the water. While walking to the lifeguard chair, you slip and fall hard on the concrete. You break your hip, which means months of rehabilitation and recovery. Who is responsible for this accident? Can you claim workers’ compensation? Or can you file a personal injury lawsuit against the other employees who failed to do their job?
This is a somewhat complicated matter. Any slip and fall case comes down to who is responsible for the accident. In a case such as this one, it’s obvious that the employees were negligent in doing their job, causing the accident. You do have the right to pursue legal action against the owner of the property as well as the employees under New Jersey’s premises liability laws.
However, you are an employee. So can you claim workers’ compensation? In this case, because you were working during the accident, you are able to receive benefits. However, there is a catch — by choosing to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you will give up the right to sue your employer. This is called the no-fault system — by accepting workers’ compensation, blame is not assigned to either party for the accident.
So let’s change the situation — let’s say your slip and fall at work was caused by a third party. What then? In that case, you are able to bring a lawsuit against that third party as well as collect workers’ compensation. But beware, if you win or settle your lawsuit, you may have to pay your employer a portion of your settlement. Remember, when you sue someone, it’s because you are trying to recoup the money you lost because of someone’s negligence and that includes medical expenses that were paid for by your employer’s insurance.
All slip and fall cases can be extremely complex and difficult to understand. Especially when it comes to workplace accidents. When you have a slip and fall at work, you need to know what legal options are available to you. Slip and fall attorney Anthony Carbone can help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.