If an employee slips and falls at work and is injured, he can sue his non-subscriber employer for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. His employer may claim that he has to file a premises liability lawsuit like a normal slip and fall victim. But in Odom v. Kroger Texas, L.P., the Federal Court in Texas decided otherwise. The Court ruled that a worker injured in a slip and fall accident can sue his non-subscriber employer under negligence as he would if he were injured in other types of workplace injuries.
How Suing Under Negligence Could Help An Employee’s Slip and Fall Case
There are a few reasons why it could be beneficial for an employee to sue under negligence rather than a traditional premises liability claim. Two reasons that this could help an injured worker’s case include:
- What employees must prove. In a negligence case, the injured employee must prove that the non-subscriber employer was negligent in failing to provide a safe workplace and that this was the cause of his injuries. In a premises liability case, a person would need to prove that the employer had actual or constructive knowledge of a condition that caused an unreasonable risk of harm, that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the risk, and that the person was injured because of the condition. It could be easier for an injured worker to prove negligence than premises liability.
- The defenses the employer can raise. A non-subscriber employer is barred from raising contributory negligence or assumption of the risk in an injured worker’s negligence case, but could raise such defenses in a traditional premises liability case. Being able to sue under negligence could be a huge benefit for an injured worker. Even if he was 90 percent negligent in causing his injuries and the employer was 10 percent at fault, the injured worker could be entitled to 100 percent of his damages in a negligence case. This might not be true in a premises liability case where the employer raised contributory negligence as a defense.
A worker injured on the job can suffer very serious injuries from a slip and fall accident, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, fractured hips, and internal organ damage. Fortunately, if he is forced to file a lawsuit against his non-subscriber employer, he will not have to defend against some defenses that could reduce the compensation he might be entitled to.
Have you been injured at work where your non-subscriber employer’s negligence caused your accident? Our experienced legal team is here to help you. Start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.