The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reports falls and strains account for nearly two-thirds of reported workplace injury cases each year. About 22,000 workplace injury claims a year are filed in Wisconsin.
Falls account for about 25 percent of Wisconsin workers’ compensation claims. Each year, more than 5,000 on-the-job fall injuries result in a workers’ compensation claim, medical expenses and lost wages. About half of those involve simple trips and slips or falls from the same level. Other common causes include falls from a different level, falls involving stairs, scaffolding or ladders, weather-related falls, and falls otherwise involving grease or liquid.
Employers are well aware of the risks. Whether a customer is injured in a slip-and-fall accident or an employee is hurt on the job, employers know falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation and premises liability claims.
The work injury lawyers at Lein Law Offices know falls often result in serious injuries, even among young and healthy individuals. Older adults who suffer fall accidents may never recover the former confidence and independence they enjoyed before a fall. Nationwide, the National Safety Council reports falls as the third-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths. Each year, more than 30,000 people will die as a result of a fall at home or at work.
Common injuries include broken bones of the wrist and arm, as well as broken joints and head injuries. The risks cut across all industries, involving:
- Construction falls: About 300 employees killed each year and more than 20,000 injured
- Education and health care: Nearly 50,000 fall injuries reported each year
- Manufacturing and wholesale: More than 35,000 injured each year and more than 50 deaths reported
- Retail: More than 30,000 injuries reported
- Professional and business: 20,000 injuries and 100 deaths reported annually
Despite the risks, failure to have fall protection 29 CFR 1926.501 is the No. 1 work violation issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which issues more than 6,000 such violations each year, most typically while investigating a fall injury that has already occurred.
A workplace fall may involve both workers’ compensation and premises liability or third-party liability claims. At Lein Law Offices, our fall injury lawyers in Wisconsin can review your case and help you determine the best course of action.
Most employees will be entitled to a workers’ compensation claim, which should pay the cost of medical care and rehabilitation, as well as a portion of lost wages. The Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.01, generally prohibits suing an employer for additional damages. Identifying other liable parties can be critical in cases where serious injury results in disability or death. Third-party liability claims often proceed against a subcontractor, building manager or property owner, product manufacturer, or any other at-fault party.
Seeking experienced legal help with your workers’ compensation slip-and-fall accident as soon as possible can allow for the best chance of making a successful recovery.