According to a recent survey of our readers, one of the most common types of workplace accidents is a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall.” We asked our readers about their experiences filing a workers’ compensation claim for these types of accidents, including how much they received in workers' comp benefits, how long their cases took to resolve, and more. Here's what we learned.
How Much Compensation Did Workers Get for Slip-and-Fall Injuries?
The majority of readers injured in slip-and-fall accidents received some compensation for their injuries, in addition to medical treatment. Their settlements or awards averaged between $17,200 and $27,500. But the actual amounts they received varied quite a bit. Nearly half (48%) of readers received $10,000 or less.
How Long Did It Take for Slip-and-Fall Claims to Get Resolved?
On average, our survey showed that took about a year and a quarter (14.9 months) to resolve slip-and-fall claims. This is only about a month less than the overall average for readers with all types of injuries (15.7 months).
Several factors affect how long a case takes, including whether you need to request a hearing or file an appeal after the insurance company denies your claim, as well as whether you hire a lawyer.
Denied Workers' Comp Claims for Slip and Falls
Employers' insurance companies often deny workers' comp claims, including those for slip and falls. But that doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road for the injured employees. In fact, out of the readers in our survey who ultimately received a settlement or award for slip-and-fall injuries, nearly four in ten (38%) said their claims were initially denied.
A denial did, however, mean that some injured employees had to take extra steps to secure their benefits. After the initial denial, 45% of readers with slip-and-fall claims had to file an appeal or request a workers’ compensation hearing before they received a settlement or award. (Learn more about survey results on winning benefits after a workers' comp claim is denied.)
There are several common reasons for denying workers' comp claims. When it comes to slip-and-fall claims, our survey showed that the most frequent reason was a preexisting medical condition that may have been responsible for the injured employee's medical condition. Of our readers whose slip-and-fall claims were denied, nearly half (45%) said the insurance company gave this reason. This in't too surprising, since back and neck injuries were the most common result of a slip and fall. Insurance companies often blame back and neck injuries on the effects of aging, especially when it comes to older workers. (Learn more about our survey results on workers’ comp claims involving back injuries.)
Hiring a Workers' Comp Lawyer for a Slip-and-Fall Injury
Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of our readers with slip-and-fall injuries hired a lawyer to represent them in their workers’ comp cases. This makes sense, given that many slip-and-fall cases went to appeals through the state workers’ compensation agency. The help of an experienced workers' comp attorney can be critical during the complex appeals process, which calls for specific forms and deadlines, hearings, and procedural rules for gathering and presenting evidence.
According to our survey, readers who hired lawyers for their slip-and-fall claims fared much better in terms of compensation than those who went through the process on their own. Of those who received a settlement or award, workers without lawyers received between $13,000 and $22,000 on average, while workers with lawyers received between $18,900 and $29,600. (See more survey results on how a lawyer affects the outcome of workers' comp cases.)
Half of our readers who hired lawyers were satisfied with their legal representation. Several of them told us the key was finding a good attorney, which meant doing some background research and talking to at least a couple of lawyers before choosing one. (Learn more about how to select a good workers' comp lawyer.)