Slip and Fall on Ice While Entering or Leaving a Workplace
While Arkansas often enjoys mild winter days, nightfall often brings with it ice storms, freezing rain, or even snowfall. As the sun sets and temperatures drop, surfaces that were merely wet in the daytime can become dangerously slippery.
For Arkansas workers, the risk of slipping and falling on ice while entering or leaving work is high. Whether you work the day or night shift, you may be coming to work or leaving at a time of day in which the weather has taken an icy turn – putting you at a higher risk of a fall injury.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on ice while coming or going from work, talk to an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer today. The legal team at the Law Office of Jason Hatfield can help.
What if I Was Injured at Work, But I Wasn’t Clocked In?
Arkansas employees who are injured on the job are typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you weren’t clocked in when you were injured, however, workers’ comp questions may become tougher to answer. Your employer or the workers’ comp insurer may argue that you shouldn’t receive workers’ comp benefits because you weren’t clocked in.
Even if workers’ compensation isn’t available, however, you may be able to bring a premises liability claim to address the costs of your injury. Two major premises liability rules that may affect your case include the “open and obvious” rule and the “coming and going” rule.
How Does the Open and Obvious Rule Apply?
Like many states, Arkansas applies the “open and obvious” rule to slip and fall injury claims. This rule states that a person injured in a slip and fall in Arkansas can’t win their injury claim if the condition that caused their fall was “open and obvious”一 in other words, the injured person could easily have seen the risk.
The open and obvious rule is a general rule. Some exceptions exist. A property owner may still be liable for a slip and fall injury if the injured person had no practical way to avoid the condition as part of their job. For example, if the walkway into your workplace is completely covered with ice, causing you to slip and suffer injury, your employer may still be liable because there was no way for you to avoid the ice and also meet your work responsibility of arriving on time.
Similarly, the open and obvious rule may not apply if the property owner knows or should know that the condition can harm someone, even if the condition is open and obvious. Ice-covered stairs and walkways may fall under this exception.
The Coming and Going Rule Explained
Workers’ compensation claims for slip and fall injuries in Arkansas may also raise questions about the coming and going rule. The coming and going rule (also known as the going and coming rule) generally states that a worker who is leaving or returning to their place of employment when they are injured is not covered by workers’ compensation.
Many exceptions to this rule exist, however. Typically, courts decide these claims on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve been told that this rule prevents you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits, don’t take that statement at face value. Talk to an experienced Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney.
Typical Slip and Fall Ice Injuries That May Need Medical Treatments
Ice, snow, and rain are common causes of slip and fall injuries, according to the CDC. Injuries that can result from a slip and fall on ice or snow include:
- Broken bones. Severe bone fractures can require surgery to correct. You may be left with implants like screws or rods. Some of these implants must remain in place permanently, while others require additional surgeries for removal. You may experience ongoing problems with pain and mobility.
- Head, neck, and back injuries. A head injury can occur if the head strikes something during the fall. Neck and back injuries can also cause lingering problems with pain, movement, and doing activities you enjoy.
Soft tissue damage like sprains, strains, and bruising can occur as well. In some situations, a person can even suffer cuts, scratches, or similar injuries from a slip and fall on ice.
Choosing a Slip and Fall Attorney After an Ice-Related Injury Going To Work or Leaving Work
At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A., we are here to help you. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident while trying to enter or leave your workplace, reach out to us today. We’re dedicated to providing determined and relentless representation to each of our clients. To learn more, contact us today at (479) 361-3575 for a free and confidential consultation.