Every day, thousands of men and women deliver millions of letters and packages to people around the country. These hardworking mail carriers do their job in even the most uncomfortable, and sometimes, dangerous conditions. It isn’t uncommon for a mail carrier to slip and fall during the course of their day and become injured.
As one might expect, weather related hazards are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents. Rain, mud, snow, and ice can all make a mail carrier lose their balance and fall. Additional hazards include uneven and broken sidewalks, defective handrails or steps, potholes, carpets/ door mats, wiring / cords, or puddles.
What About Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance may be one way in which you can obtain payment for your medical bills. But workers’ comp doesn’t always cover all of your expenses and if you need to take time off of work because of your injury, it is likely that you will receive only a fraction of the wages that you would have made.
If you accept workers’ compensation, you will be unable to file a claim against your employer, however, most slip and fall accidents occur on someone else’s property. In many cases, it is possible to pursue legal action against the property owner or a third party.
How Do You Know If Someone Was Negligent?
When you pursue legal action, you must show that the defendant was negligent in some way and that their negligence caused your accident.
When determining negligence in slip and fall cases, attorneys and the court review several things:
- What was the hazard that caused the mail carrier to slip and fall?
- How long was the hazard on the property for?
- Were there any signs warning the mail carrier of the hazard?
- Does the property owner inspect the property regularly for issues?
- Could the hazard have been discovered with regular inspection?
- Was a third party hired to correct the issue?
If it can be determined that the hazard was there long enough to that the property owner knew, or should have known about it, and that they failed to fix it or a third party failed to fix it, you likely have a case.
I Fell But I Think I’m Just Sore – Do I Need To Go To A Doctor?
YES. It is very important that you seek medical care even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Many times the pain felt due to the injury gets worse over time, not better. Seek medical attention immediately after a fall and be sure to keep copies of any medical reports for your personal files.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me?
A lawyer can help you in many ways. Unfortunately, nearly 50% of all workers’ compensation claims are denied each year. Many of our clients believe that if this happens they will be on their own, stuck with medical bills that are financially draining.
A lawyer can help you deal with the insurance company and can also review the facts regarding your accident to help you determine if a third party might be responsible. Then, they can explain what all of your options are and how you might be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages from time off of work, pain and suffering, and more.
What Will I Need To Show The Lawyer?
When you come in for a free consultation, you should bring any documents that pertain to your accident. This might include:
- medical records
- pictures of the area where you fell
- pictures of the hazard that caused your fall
- any worker’s comp paperwork you have filled out or received
- any reports that you made to the police
- copies of any bills for treatments or medications relating to your injuries
- the contact information for any witnesses that saw you fall
This information will help us determine what your next steps should be.