According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than one million Americans suffer a stair-related injury each year. If you suffer injuries while traversing stairs in your own home, you may not have a claim to compensation, but if it happens at work, you may have a legitimate claim. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how you can collect damages for stair-related injuries in the workplace in Minnesota.
Stairs and Fall Injuries
Falls are one of the most common types of actions that lead to injuries in the workplace, and one of the biggest culprits in causing a fall is a set of stairs. Under previously established law, in order for a person to collect workers’ compensation for a fall on a set of stairs, they must prove that their injuries “arose out of their employment.”
This definition is interpretive, which can be both good and bad for individuals looks to collect compensation following a fall down a flight of stairs. There’s no clear playbook for determining whether or not you are eligible for compensation, but if you can say yes to either of the following questions, there’s a good chance you will be able to collect compensation:
- Were you performing work duties at the time of the fall?
- Did your employment contribute to the injuries?
The first question is pretty easy to answer. If you were helping carry a printer up the stairwell and lost your balance or you were taking a memo downstairs slipped on a wet spot, you’re eligible for compensation. If you were performing work duties at the time of the injury, you’re likely covered under workers’ compensation law.
The second question is a little more open ended. You can’t just make the argument that because you were employed, you were in that building, and thus your employment alone at the establishment that houses the staircase meets the criteria of contributing to your injuries. For example, let’s say you forgot your wallet at work, so you went back to the office on the weekend to grab it. You fall while running up the stairs and hurt your ankle. While it’s true that if you were not employed at that company, you would not have needed to come back to the building and collect your wallet, but that injury does not mean that your employment contributed to your injuries.
Here’s a better example to illustrate something that would meet that criteria. Let’s say you work in an office where business professional dress is required. An employee is on her lunch break and decides to head downstairs, only to trip because she lost her balance in her high heels. A good lawyer would be able to argue that her high heels, which were required as part of a company dress code, meant that her employment contributed to her injuries. She would be eligible for compensation.
So if you have suffered a staircase-related injury in the workplace, reach out to an experienced injury lawyer. Regardless of whether it seems like an obvious case or you’ve been told you’re ineligible, go over all your options with a professional. We can ensure you get the biggest award possible while you focus on your recovery. For more information, reach out to the team at Hey Workers today.