If you fell or were hurt at work, or both, in this case, you need a Houston, TX slip and fall lawyer by your side. The question quickly becomes, though, which types of lawyer do you need after this type of injury? Many people understand that if they’re hurt at work, then they can access certain benefits through workers’ compensation.
On the other hand, slip and fall cases are also commonplace, and people know that they need a personal injury attorney for these types of cases. So what do you do when you slip and fall at work? It’s pretty straightforward. You should meet with an attorney to decide if your case is a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
If You Slip and Fall at Work, an Injury Attorney is Your Guide
Because of how the laws are worded and the umbrella statements made about injuries, it’s never clear how to handle complex situations. Meeting with an attorney for a consultation can help you get some direction. Consultations serve as a “meet-and-greet” so you can see if you really need an attorney, and the attorney can see if you really have a case.
In most cases, with a slip and fall at work, a personal injury attorney will tell you that you have a workers’ compensation case. That means that the state-required workers’ compensation insurance policy your employer carries should cover all of your medical expenses as well as a portion of your time lost at work. You can push for a dispute if your company is being unreasonable.
Many people want to avoid using workers’ compensation for a few reasons. Some feel that it reflects badly upon them, and often times it can taint the employer-employee relationship. However, in genuine injuries, this is a benefit that you are entitled to as an employee in the state of Texas. Another popular reason that people want to avoid workers’ comp is because they feel they would get a “fuller” recovery from a personal injury case.
Personal injury cases only cover injuries at work that show extreme situations of neglect. This goes far beyond the scenario of a water cooler leaking or there being water droplets in the bathroom.
Is it a Workers’ Comp or a Personal Injury Issue?
At first blush, this is a workers’ compensation issue. Now, if the fall was extreme or showed extreme negligence, then you may have a personal injury case available to recover the damages that the workers’ compensation claim wouldn’t cover.
For example, if it was commonplace or standard practice to use the same mop and bucket to mop a bay in a mechanics shop as in their office, then it could be considered extreme. This situation showcases a clear disregard for the risk of using mop water that has various oils over a tile or linoleum surface, ultimately putting their employees and all their customers at risk of slipping.
However, even in extreme cases, you need to start with the standard procedure of filing a claim with the workers’ comp insurance. This step is part of your documentation process, and it’s critical for proving that your injury happened at work and that you tried to resolve it “correctly.”
What to Do About Outstanding Medical Bills?
When you’re in this weird space between different areas of the law, it can raise very concerning questions. What do you do with your medical bills? To some extent, you may not want your bills going straight to the workers’ comp insurance company if they’ll force you to waive your rights to seek full compensation later.
In these cases, you need to discuss your concerns with your attorney. Usually, attorneys will collect medical bills for their clients and then arrange for a holding period, so there’s no collection process until a settlement is reached. You can arrange for this to happen with a workers’ compensation attorney or a personal injury attorney if you and they believe it’s in your best interest. Always focus on getting the treatment you need and then on fighting for full compensation to cover your medical expenses.
Contact a Houston Injury Attorney if You Slip and Fall at Work
McDonald Worley is ready to fight for your case through whichever avenue is necessary. Although the accident happened at work, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a personal injury case. You should contact a personal injury law firm in Houston, Texas to identify what area of law your case falls into.
At McDonald Worley, our attorneys use their collective experience to defend personal injury victims. Call our offices now to find a time that fits your schedule to discuss your case.