What to do if I slipped on wet stairs at work?

The owner of the building knew there was a leak in the roof and nothing was done to notify all employees that the stairs were wet and to be cautious. I also found that the company I work for also knew about the leak and never did antything to warn us. While I didn’t get seriously hurt, I have muscle strain etc.

Asked on January 21, 2013 under Personal Injury, Tennessee

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since you were injured at work, you can file a workers' compensation claim.  Your employer's human resources department should have the appropriate documents you will  need to file your claim.  You can receive compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.  Your employer will need to make reasonable accommodations for medical restrictions your doctor may require during the course of treatment for your injury.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since the owner knew of the leak, the owner may be liable; building owners are responsible to provide safe rental units and common areas, which are "fit for their intended purpose"--leaks which cause safety hazards can violate this obligation (which is called the "implied warranty of habitability") and result in liability. Your employer would not be liable unless the employer had control over that area (e.g. it was part of the space rented) and did not do anything; if it had no control, it would also generally have no responsibility.

A question is whether it is worthwhile to take any action: you can only recover your actual, unreimbursed medical costs, your lost wages, if any, and pain and suffering for serious, long last injuries--generally more than muscle strain. It may be that even if the building is liable, that you can't recover enough money to make a lawsuit worthwhile.


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