According to a recent survey of our readers, one of the most common types of workplace accidents was 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 benefits, how long their cases took to resolve, and more.
How Much Compensation Did Workers Get for Slip and Fall Injuries?
The majority of workers injured in a slip and fall accident received some compensation for their injuries. On average, these workers received workers' comp settlements or awards between $17,200 and $27,500. However, compensation ranged quite a bit from worker to worker. Nearly half of workers (48%) received $10,000 or less. Just over half of workers (52%) received more than $10,000.
How Long Did It Take for Slip and Fall Claims to Get Resolved?
On average, it took 14.9 months for workers who were injured in slip and fall accidents to resolve their workers’ compensation claims. This is slightly, but not significantly, shorter than it took workers with all types of injuries to resolve their claims: 15.7 months.
Several factors affect how long a case takes, including whether the insurance company initially denies your claim, whether you need to request a hearing or file an appeal to resolve your claim, and whether you hire a lawyer.
Denied Workers' Comp Claims for Slip and Falls
Of workers injured in slip and fall accidents who received a settlement or award, more than one-third (38%) received an initial denial of their claims. Workers who are injured in other ways actually have a higher rate of denials, but denials of slip and fall claims are still relatively common. But receiving a claim denial did not mean the end of the road for a large portion of workers.
A denial did, however, mean that some workers had to take extra steps to secure their benefits. After receiving a denial, 45% of workers with slip and fall claims had to file an appeal or request a workers’ compensation hearing before they received a settlement or award. (For more on denied claims, see Denied Workers’ Comp Claims: How Can I Win Benefits After a Denial?)
The most common reason workers received for a denial was that they had preexisting medical conditions that caused their injuries: 45% of workers injured in slip and falls received denials on these grounds. This is not too surprising, given that workers were most likely to injure their backs and necks in a slip and fall accident. Insurance companies often blame back and neck injuries on the effects of aging, especially when it comes to older workers. (For more information, see our article on average compensation and duration of workers’ comp claims involving back injuries.)
Hiring a Workers' Comp Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Injury
Most workers with slip and fall injuries hired a lawyer to represent them in their workers’ comp cases: 69% hired a lawyer, while only 31% did not hire a lawyer. This makes sense, given that many workers with slip and fall injuries ended up appealing their cases through the state workers’ compensation agency. The appeals process can be quite complex, as it requires the parties to file certain forms, attend hearings, and follow procedural rules for gathering and presenting evidence.
According to our survey, workers with slip and fall claims who hired lawyers fared much better in terms of compensation than those who did not hire a lawyer. 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. (To learn more about how a lawyer could improve your odds, see our article Does a Workers' Comp Lawyer Give You a Better Outcome? Is it Worth the Cost?).
Of workers who hired lawyers, 50% were either satisfied or very satisfied with their lawyers. Several workers reported that the key was finding a good lawyer, which meant doing some background research and talking to at least a couple of attorneys before choosing one. (For help finding a lawyer, see Selecting a Workers’ Comp Lawyer.)