Work Place Injury: Slip and Fall on Steps or Ladder---Can You Get Compensation in Virginia?
Posted by Jerry Lutkenhaus
The state of Virginia has a very strick rule about obtaining workers compensation for a slip and fall on a stair case or steps or even a ladder. It can be quite difficult to recover compensation for this type of injury.
You are rushing at the work place. You go down the stairs and you miss a step or you stumble and down you go. This can result in a serious injury depending upon the severity of the fall. Since this happened at the work place and since you were on company business, this should be compensable under the workers' compensation law. However, in Virginia you have a problem.
It is not enough to show in Virginia that you were at the work place when the accident occurred. Virginia has rejected the "positional risk" test in favor of the "actual risk" test. What this means is that something must have caused the fall. That something must be a "risk" of the employment. Thus, if there was a slippery substance on the floor, or if the steps were slippery, or if the rug on the steps was defective, or if the stairway did not have proper lights, or if the steps themselves were narrower than normal, or higher than normal, then the injured worker may be able to establish the necessary "actual risk" associated with the employment. Also, if the employee was carrying something that made the descent of the steps riskier than normal that could provide the "actual risk" to convert the claim into a compensable accident. However, if the worker simply misses the step on an ordinary journey down or up the stairs then the claim will be denied because no "actual risk" has been shown.
In summary, the injured worker who has fallen on a stairs or even a ladder at work is well advised to discuss this incident as soon as possible with an experienced workers compensation attorney.
This may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers in Virginia. This note is designed for general information only. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Gerald G. Lutkenhaus--has been doing workers compensation in Virginia for over 30 years. In the July 1999 issue of Richmond Magazine he was rated one of the Best Attorneys for Workers Compensation in Central Virginia. In 2003 he was giving the rating of AV by Martindale Hubbell.
You can get more information from http://www.virginiadisabilitylawyer.com or http://www.geraldlutkenhaus.com