What can I do if I slip and fall at work and my employer hasn’t properly maintained the walkway?
I slipped and fell at work and was injured. I blame my employer because he doesn’t maintain a safe workplace. What can I do?
Indiana no-fault worker’s compensation laws
The worker’s compensation laws in Indiana are no-fault like our divorce laws. You can’t go to divorce court in Indiana and maintain that your horrible spouse did bad things and, therefore, you have the right to a divorce. The judge doesn’t care who is to blame for the failure of the marriage. Similarly, in a worker’s compensation case, the worker’s compensation judge doesn’t care who is at fault. If you were injured at work (arising out of and in the course of employment), you receive worker’s compensation benefits—regardless of fault or blame.
When a third party is to blame
Fault or blame is important if your accident happened due to the fault of another party that is not your employer. Attorneys sometimes call these cases third party cases because they are a claim against someone other than your employer. Fault is important in a third-party case.
Comparative fault system
In Indiana, we have what is called a comparative fault system for third-party claims. If you are hurt in an accident where a third party is at least partly to blame, and your case proceeds before a jury, a jury assess fault between all important parties. For example, if you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in front of a store, a jury is asked to fill out a form and all parties involved in the accident are assigned fault on a 0 to 100 scale. A jury could assign you 30% of the fault for not seeing the ice or for not walking more carefully. The jury could assign the property owner the remainder of the fault, or 70%. In this scenario, a jury reduces the amount of money they wish to award you by 30%, or the portion of fault assigned to you.
If you are more than 50% to blame for your accident
If you have a slip and fall case and you are having a hard time finding an attorney to help you, it might be because of the comparative fault laws. Any fault assigned to you greater than 50% means that you lose the case. So, the big risk in slip and fall cases is that a jury gives you more than half of the fault, and as a matter of law you receive no money.
We care about fighting for the rights of injured persons and workers throughout the state of Indiana. Call us today. With offices in Evansville, Indianapolis, Lafayette, New Harmony, and Jeffersonville (Louisville, KY), we are well-equipped to handle your case.