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Winter Workers’ Comp: Slip-and-Falls at Work

By Cleveland Personal Injury Attorney on February 10, 2024

A man tripping at work.

As winter’s icy grip tightens, workplaces can be the location of dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. Thus, “winter is coming” isn’t merely a pop culture catchphrase; it serves as a stark warning about the hazards that laborers face in the workplace during winter. Such hazards, like excessive snow and icy surfaces, exacerbate the risks of injury and workers’ compensation claims.

Causes of Slip-and-Falls at Work in Winter

Slip-and-fall injuries are particularly concerning when winter conditions impact the workplace, such as:

  • Icy surfaces and snow accumulation pose significant hazards in the workplace during winter. Even a thin layer of ice can cause employees to lose their footing and suffer injuries.
  • Inadequate snow and ice removal exacerbate the risks, as untreated surfaces become slippery and dangerous.
  • Lack of proper signage and warnings further increases the likelihood of accidents, as employees may not be aware of hazardous conditions.
  • Employer negligence in maintaining a safe work environment is a common cause of slip-and-fall accidents. Failure to address known hazards or implement preventive measures can leave employees vulnerable to injuries.

Understanding Liability

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace. This includes taking measures to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, such as regular maintenance of walkways and providing appropriate safety equipment. In cases where a third party, such as a subcontractor or property owner, is responsible for maintaining the premises, they may also be held liable for slip-and-fall injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Policies in Ohio

In Ohio, workers’ compensation is a state-run insurance program designed to provide medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. The program covers medical expenses, disability compensation, and rehabilitation services for eligible workers.

In the case of a workplace slip-and-fall due to winter conditions, such as ice or snow accumulation, the injured laborer may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if the incident occurred while they were performing work-related duties.

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Employment status: The individual must be an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor, and the injury or illness must have occurred in the course of employment.
  • Work-related injury or illness: The injury or illness must be directly related to the individual’s job duties or workplace environment. The dangers include sudden accidents, such as slip-and-fall incidents, occupational diseases, or repetitive stress injuries.
  • Timely reporting: The injury or illness must be reported to the employer within a specified timeframe, typically within a few days or weeks of the incident or diagnosis.
  • Medical evidence: The individual must provide medical evidence to support their claim, demonstrating the nature and severity of the injury or illness.

Factors such as the location of the fall (on the employer’s premises), the timing (during work hours), and the nature of the job (such as outdoor work) would be considered in determining eligibility. Additionally, Ohio’s workers’ compensation system recognizes the concept of “no-fault” benefits, meaning that employees are generally entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness.

As long as the injury occurred when performing employment duties and meets the other eligibility criteria, the injured worker should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation services.

How a Cleveland Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help

Legal representation is crucial for Ohio employees navigating the workers’ compensation claims process. An experienced Cleveland workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and maximize compensation by advocating for your rights and skillfully negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. In addition, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can prepare the case for legal action and represent your interests in court, fighting for your right to full compensation.

Steps To Take After a Cleveland Winter Slip-and-Fall at Work

After suffering an injury due to a slip-and-fall in in Cleveland, consider the following steps:

  • Seek immediate medical attention to diagnose and treat any injuries properly.
  • Report the incident to your employer. This is essential for initiating the workers’ compensation claims process.
  • Document and photograph the scene. Doing so can provide crucial evidence to support a claim.
  • Collect the contact information of witnesses. Witness statements can corroborate the circumstances of the accident and strengthen your case.
  • Contact George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Workers’ Compensation Is Our Specialty

If you’ve been injured in a winter slip-and-fall accident at work in Cleveland, don’t hesitate to contact George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law for help. From your initial consultation and case evaluation to gathering evidence and negotiating with insurance companies, we will serve as your guides and dedicated advocates.

Give us a call at (216) 621-3930 to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

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