Sadly, before we know it, snow and ice will be on the ground and you will hear about many people slipping and falling with some getting injured. Hopefully that does not happen to you.
For workers in Illinois, slip and fall accidents are a year round occurrence. Every week we get called from someone who has slipped at work on oil or grease or a wet floor or something else and sustained an injury.
In order to win a workers’ compensation case for a slip or trip and fall, there is one very important thing you must know. You have to know what caused you to fall or at least that something caused you to fall.
In other words, if you tripped over your own two feet, that’s usually not a case. If you have no idea at all why you fell, you probably don’t have a case. That is called an idiopathic fall which in plain English means there’s no explanation.
You don’t have to know 100% for sure why you fell, just that there was some error or defect that caused you to fall. In other words, you might not know what substance was on the ground, but you do know that the floor was slippery because your feet slid.
It’s certainly better for the case if you can prove why you fell, e.g. you later learn that the floor had just been mopped or was recently waxed, but it’s not the be all end all to the case.
What we see a lot is honest people telling us that it all happened so fast that they aren’t 100% certain what happened. If you give a recorded statement and say that, you will probably lose your case. ** Never give a recorded statement.**
When explored further, these same honest people will tell us that yes they felt their feet slide, they just aren’t sure why. A further investigation can often determine what exactly caused that, but the general statement that you slipped on something, if you testify credibly, is often enough to win the case. However, we’ve seen cases lost when an employer has testified that they inspected the area and found nothing wrong so if you know why you fell it strengthens your case.
There are of course more of these cases in the winter when people are dragging water in to their places of employment from snowy shoes, but these accidents truly happen year round.
Bonus tip, if you don’t know why you fell, but were rushing to a meeting or carrying a bunch of materials for work, that’s often enough to win the case.
Have we made you more confused than you were before? Do you have any questions? You can speak with our attorneys for free at any time by filling out the form to the right or calling the number at the top of the page. We would be happy to help you with your case and cover all of Illinois.