Icy walkways are very dangerous, and a slip and fall accident might lead to severe injuries. If you slipped on ice at work, you typically cannot sue your employer, but you might have other legal options.
Generally, employees cannot sue their employers after falling on ice at work. Instead, injured employees must file Workers’ Compensation claims. In Arkansas, Workers’ Compensation is the sole remedy for injured employees, and lawsuits against employers are categorically barred. You may begin a Workers’ Compensation claim by immediately reporting your accident to your employer, who should forward the claim and any necessary reports to their insurance provider. The amount of compensation you can collect varies based on your income and injuries, and you may collect compensation for as long as you cannot work. Under very specific circumstances, you can sue your employer for your injuries, but this tends to be more unusual.
Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you begin a Workers’ Compensation claim after you slipped on ice at work. For a free case review, call our experienced team at (479) 316-0438.
Suing Your Employer After Falling on Ice at Work in Arkansas
Workplace accidents often leave employees with limited legal options because of Workers’ Compensation laws. According to Arkansas Code § 11-9-105(a), Workers’ Compensation claims are the sole remedy for injured employees, and lawsuits against employers are prohibited, absent certain exceptions.
This means you cannot usually sue your employer after falling on some ice at work. Icy walkways are a hazard in numerous workplaces. Perhaps you were walking into your office on a winter day and there was ice on the front steps of the building. Icy floors are also a problem in walk-in freezers in restaurants and grocery stores. An accident in these cases means filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Although a lawsuit is unlikely, our Fort Smith Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you begin a claim for compensation through your employer’s insurance. To improve your odds of getting financial compensation, you should report your accident to a supervisor immediately before contacting a lawyer.
Workers’ Compensation After Slipping on Ice at Work in Arkansas
Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim should begin right after your accident. You cannot claim compensation if you do not report the accident to your employer. There are also various requirements to abide by, such as doctor examinations. The amount of compensation you can collect and the duration of your benefits will depend on the extent of your injuries.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you file a Workers’ Compensation claim, you do so with your employer’s insurance. Employers carry workers’ Compensation insurance rather than employees. According to Arkansas Code § 11-9-401, employers are required by law to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Claims are often filed in cooperation with an employer. When you report your accident to your employer, they should begin preparing your claim to submit to the insurance provider. There are no penalties assessed against employers for having injured employees. In fact, an employer is likely to face penalties if they refuse to help file the claim.
When filing the claim, it does not matter who is at fault for the accident. Under the statute mentioned above, compensation may be paid without regard to fault or the cause of the injury. This means your slip and fall accident on some ice could be completely your own fault, and you can still receive Workers’ Compensation.
Before collecting compensation, you must submit to medical examinations to ascertain the extent of your injuries. Under Arkansas Code § 11-9-511(a), you must be checked out by a qualified physician approved by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. You may choose your own doctor or be examined by a doctor designated by the Commission.
Amount of Workers’ Compensation Award
How much compensation you can collect varies based on your injuries and how long you are unable to work. According to Arkansas Code § 11-9-501(a), an injured employee cannot even begin to collect compensation until they have been disabled for at least 7 days, not including the day of the accident. If your disabilities persist past 7 days, compensation will not begin until the 9th day. If your disability lasts for at least 2 weeks, compensation can begin on the first day of the disability, excluding the day of the injury.
The amount of your compensation depends on your average weekly income. Under Arkansas Code § 11-9-501(b), compensation may not exceed two-thirds or about 66% of your average weekly income. The statute sets a $20 per week minimum. The maximum weekly benefit for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1990 is 70% of the state average weekly wage. The average wage tends to change over time and is subject to recalculation.
Under Arkansas Code § 11-9-508(a), employers are also responsible for compensating injured employees for medical care. As soon as an employer is aware of the accident, they are responsible for ensuring the employee gets medical attention. The cost of your medical needs will vary based on the severity of your injuries. A slip and fall accident on some ice might sound minor, but broken bones, neck and back injuries, and even brain damage are possible.
When You Can Sue an Employer After Slipping on Ice at Work in Arkansas
Although Workers’ Compensation laws tend to bar lawsuits against employers, there are certain circumstances in which a lawsuit would be appropriate. If you believe that you are not covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance or your employer refuses to help you file a claim, talk to our Harris Workers’ Compensation lawyers for help.
You can file a lawsuit against your employer after an accident if your employer does not carry any Workers’ Compensation insurance. Failing to carry this insurance is a violation, and your employer would no longer be protected from a lawsuit.
You can also sue if you are not considered an employee. Certain people are excluded from the definition of employee, including independent contractors. If you were hired as an independent contractor, you do not have an employer-employee relationship but a contractor-client relationship. As such, you can sue the client that hired you if their negligence caused you to become injured on the job.
Finally, you can sue your employer even if you are an employee if your employer intentionally caused your accident or injuries. For example, if your slip on the ice was caused because your employer pushed you, you can sue instead of pursuing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Call Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Help
Knowing what to do after an accident, like slipping on some ice at work, can be tricky. Our Washington County Workers’ Compensation lawyers are here to provide guidance and help. For a free case review, call us at (479) 316-0438.
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