Any fall, whether in the house or outdoors, can cause injuries from mild sprains and bruises to broken bones, fractures and head injuries. Falling down the stairs at work however can result in multiple injuries over several different parts of the body, which can have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences to your health.
If you fell down stairs at work and believe negligence was the cause you should speak with a personal injury solicitor to determine your rights to compensation.
Can I Claim For Falling Down Stairs At Work?
By law, all employers have a duty of care towards their workers. This means, employers are legally required to ensure that the workplace is safe and free from any hazards. This applies to all aspects of the workplace, from providing workers with proper training and appropriate personal protective gear to designing ergonomic workstations and having hazard free walkways and staircases.
With regards to the risk of falls on stairs, employers should ensure that:
- Bannisters/handrails are secure and sturdy and are situated at the appropriate height.
- Stairs made of granite, wood or any other smooth material have good, slip resistance properties.
- Carpeting is held firmly in place so there is no danger of slipping.
- There are no loose edges or tears in carpeting that may trip somebody.
- Things are not randomly left on the stairs obstructing free passage.
- “Wet Flooring” signs are put up in easily visible locations while the floor is being cleaned.
- All liquid spills are mopped up immediately and hazard signs put up to warn everybody about the spill in the interim.
If your employer neglected any one of these aspects and you fell down stairs at work as a result, you may be eligible to file a compensation claim. For example, you can claim compensation for your injuries if there was no hazard sign warning you that the stairs were wet or there was an oil spills on the stairs. You may also be able to claim for your injuries if you tripped on a tear in the carpeting.
Common Injuries Caused By Falls Down Stairs
Most injuries that result from falling down stairs tend to be more serious than ground level falls for obvious reasons. If you fell down stairs at work you might count yourself lucky to get away with minor injuries such as a sprained ankle.
Common severe injuries in staircase falls include:
- Slipped disc or compression of discs – Falling down the stairs at work can injure the walls of the spinal discs, causing them to bulge or get compressed. This can be excruciatingly painful. Very often, the pain extends beyond the immediate area to the arms and legs. Surgery followed by extensive physical therapy are often required to recover from slipped disc or compression of discs.
- Head and brain injuries – Direct impact to the head can result in severe brain injures that can cause long term problems with cognition, mobility, and memory among others. Even mild brain injury requires extensive rehabilitation. Severe brain injury may cause irreversible damage.
- Injuries to the spine – Your spine is most susceptible to being injured when you fall down stairs. Not only is the immediate pain from a broken spine unbearable, but the healing process can be slow and arduous too.
- Nerve damage – This is one type of injury that may manifest only days, weeks or months after the actual fall. The effects of nerve damage can range from numbness and tingling, to pain, a burning sensation or loss of fine motor function. Nerve damage treatment is complex and often requires long term rehabilitation.
Why It’s Important To Get Legal Advice If You Fell Down Stairs At Work
Not everyone is fully conversant with their rights to compensation if they are injured in a fall at work. Most people have a vague idea that they may be able to claim compensation from their employer but they are not sure how to proceed, how much to claim for or even if they are eligible for compensation. The majority of employees don’t even want to entertain the thought of suing their employer for fear of losing their job. Talking with an experienced personal injury solicitor will help you understand your legal rights so you can make an informed decision.
During your free consultation, the solicitor will first ask to hear all the details of how you fell down the stairs at work and what caused the fall. If the cause was negligence, they will in all likelihood advise you to start a claim for compensation using a No Win No Fee contract.
A No Win No Fee contract is a unique type of agreement between a personal injury solicitor and the individual they are representing. According to the terms of our No Win No Fee agreement, the we agree to cover all costs related to the claim in return for a success fee (a percentage of the compensation awarded) if the claim is successful. With a No Win No Fee agreement, you get the benefit of the solicitor’s knowledge, experience and expertise without being out of pocket at any time during the claims process.
What Happens To Your Job If You File A Claim Against Your Employer?
This is one thing that most employees worry about and it’s what often holds them back from fighting for the compensation that’s due to them. The fact is, there are laws in place to protect workers’ rights so no employer can fire any worker unreasonably. Taking action against you could open them up to another lawsuit, which they are fully aware of. Moreover, all companies, regardless of size, are required to have insurance. When you file a compensation claim, you will be dealing with your company’s insurance company, not with your company itself. The insurance company’s lawyers will handle the claim and are also liable to pay out the compensation if you fell down stairs at work and your claim is successful.