Falling down the stairs and suffering a head or neck injury at work can very quickly become a very serious situation. An injury of this magnitude can keep you from working and acquiring the income you may need to pay your bills now, or in the future. If the fall is directly related to work duties performed on a stairway, you should not be the one to pay your medical bills. In addition, you may even be entitled to lost wages if your stair injury renders you unable to work at all.
The Accident Must Arise out of Your Employment
Not every stair injury at work meets the qualifications for compensation. While falling down the stairs or suffering a head or neck injury related to the stairs can be devastating, the accident must arise out of your employment. This means that in some ways, your injury has to be caused at least or in part by your employment. This has been one of the most important and controversial topics in workers’ compensation law, with many cases attempting to clarify or define what it means to have an injury “arise out of your work”. While there are some situations where it’s very clear that an injury occurred due to the victim carrying out the responsibilities of his job, there are other situations where a thorough examination of the details is essential to determine the cause. A stair injury is unlike an injury sustained by a machine; while finding the link between a work machine and an injury that results from the machine is often very clear, stair injury cases can be quite a bit more complex, and they require experienced lawyers to litigate them successfully.
Is My Stair Injury Related to My Employment?
In the many cases where it’s not entirely clear whether the injury occurred as a result of employment, you need an expert to help you comb through the details in order to qualify for compensation. To help clear up any confusion, it’s helpful to think about (and write down) the duties of your job. If you work in a position where it’s required that you regularly traverse stairs in order to accomplish tasks, for example, you may be more likely to sustain an injury on those stairs because you use them more than individuals in other professions. This highlights the importance of risk in a workplace stair injury case.
When Stairways Increase Risk of Injury
When reviewing your case and the circumstances surrounding your fall, the concept of risk is critical. You may be entitled to benefits if your employment increased your risk for sustaining a work injury on the stairs. For example, if you are racing down the stairs to handle an immediate work crisis, this is indicative of a situation where your employment increased the risk you faced in sustaining a workplace injury. On the other side of the coin, simply using the stairs for normal reasons and sustaining a work injury is not indicative of an especially strong case for compensation. If the evaluation of the facts in your case doesn’t reveal that your risk was increased by your employment or a work situation, it becomes much more difficult to build a strong case.
Details are Critical
It’s essential that you think clearly about the details surrounding your accident. As you can see, it’s important to clarify to what extent the injuries were caused by the circumstances in your employment: Write down the details of what was happening before you were injured. Also, write down where you were headed, and whether there were other hazards present that could have contributed to your fall. If you were seriously injured on the stairs as a result of your employment, Van Wey, Presby & Williams, PLLC would like to set up a free consultation to evaluate and discuss your special circumstances.
By: Kay Van Wey | March 14th, 2016