Quasi Fall Down, Went "Boom" (Legal Eagles, Please?)

The hospital I work at has hired some outside contract contractors to strip and wax our floors.

Tonight I got an ER page and started up the ramp that leads there, and saw some sheets had been spread across the hallway right at the top of the ramp.

I started to turn around and go another way when one of the floor guys told me to come ahead because they hadn’t “started yet.”

Thinking there was a clear place to walk (usual procedure is to do **half ** the floor, and leave the other half free to walk on) I went ahead, but one of the guys stopped me and re-directed me, telling me to watch my step. Well, I gingerly walked where he told me, my legs went out from under me and I went down on my ass, hit my back and then the back of my head on the wall. I blacked out for a few seconds, and when I came to I couldn’t focus my eyes, and couldn’t stand. All this time the floor cleaners just stood there. I had someone go to ER and come and get me with a stretcher, they did X-Rays and a Cat Scan and other than the bump on my head, everything came out normal.

Workmen’s Comp will cover the med expenses and the time I will be out, but what happens if I (God forbid) have complications from this? Is WC gonna pay for me to see Neuro and Ortho specialists ad infinitum or should/would they go after the outside contractor’s insurance carrier?

Worst of all, what if I decide to see a lawyer. Do I stand a chance of being fired from my job?

Right now, all I’ve got is a major headache and a stiff neck, and I have to follow up with my primary physycian, so that’s what I plan to do. Anyone have any info on this type of claim? I am otherwise very healthy, but at 53, I don’t “bounce” like I once did, and I sure don’t wanna file a frivolous suit, just looking at the “worst case”.



Workers Comp SHOULD cover all normal medical expenses such as orthopods and neurologists. However, they will definantly balk at such things as acupuncture. I’m reluctant to say they will cover everything because, well, I know a lot of people currently embroiled in suits with workers comp.

That being said (and yer probably not going to like this), my understanding is that if you are getting workers comp coverage, you’re except from going after anyone else, legally speaking. Meaning, once it’s workers comp, thats it. This means potentially you have to sue workers comp. Ugly. I don’t believe you can legitamatly be fired from your job for seeing a lawyer. If you were, I believe you would have a pretty good wrongful dismissal case.

I don’t know if you have the option of suing for “pain and suffering” outside of your WCB compensation. For this I pass the floor to someone else.

Try to take care of yourself. Take it easy and try some ibuprofen in your tummy can handle it. I hope you feel better. :slight_smile:

I’m sorry for your accident, and you obviously mean well, Quasimodem, but I’m afraid I have to point out that legal advice for a specific case is not something that should be asked for on this board. The reasoning why is explained lucidly by brianmelendez in this thread. Sorry that I can’t be of any more help.

I’m not sure that asking how WCB works or inquiring about being fired for speaking to a lawyer constitutes legal advice TTT except in the broadest sense.

It’s not like Quasi is asking for tips about torte law, afterall.

Thanks, both of you for your responses.

Sorry if I was out of line in any way. I understand the reasoning behind TTT’s response, however, because I myself have advised posters about not seeking specific medical advice for any problem they may have, being that an “on-line” answer is no substitute for proper medical care. In retrospect, I’m sure the same is true for legal advice…

I understand about WC, but I was just wondering how far they would go in paying for any additional care if necessary, and at what point they would say “Hey, I don’t think we’re liable for this anymore! Let’s let the insurance proivder handle it from here on out.” At that point, I believe your ol’ pal Quasi might well be caught “in the middle” with any additional bills settled on me. Something I would like to avoid, if possible.

Anyway, thanks for caring! :smiley:


Alice_in_wonderland: Sorry if my brief reply came off snippy, I certainly didn’t intend that. It is only that brianmelendez (in that linked thread) cautioned that disclosure of information or procedural tactics in this thread could also harm Quasimodem, and we wouldn’t want that to happen, do we? :wink:

Furthermore I think it is a question about the application of law to a specific case. If Quasimodem were a client of mine I couldn’t really advise her without knowing much more about her case.


Quasimoped is a he




See? One not-mentioned fact I already got wrong! :wink:

Quasimoped is a he?

I think you took a harder fall than you thought!


Quasi, I am not a lawyer. However, I can tell you two things from my personl experience handling both liabity and worker’s comp claims. This is not legal advice.

First your employer’s comp coverage should address all traditional reasonible and necessary medical expenses. If you feel they don’t or are not treating the matter thoroughly enough (head injuries are tricky things) then you are well within your rights to complain to your State Worker’s Comp board. I’d just suggest you speak with the adjuster first and express any concerns you have regarding your treatment.

Second, Worker’s comp coverage protects only your employer from suit. It is a legal doctrine known as ‘sole remidy’. In short since you have accepted comp coverage it is likely your sole remidy against your employer. However I read that the work was being done by an outside contractor. They are not protected by the ‘sole remidy’ doctrine. You may be able to make a claim against the flooring company. I won’t say anthing more than this as it may be considered legal advise.

It’s great to see you again, my friend! :smiley:


I am a lawyer, but I ain’t yours. I don’t even practice in this field. That being said, I believe Jenson Jim’s summary of the law is generally accurate for U.S. Worker’s Comp laws (though your jurisdiction’s law may vary). If the outside contractor was negligent in performing the work or directing you, you could have a personal injury claim against them.

Q, I’m not your lawyer, either, and I don’t practice in this field, either. But talking to someone who does wouldn’t be a half-bad idea. It might not even cost you anything - sometimes they’ll talk to you for a while and not bill you unless you actually decide to proceed.

How would your employer ever find out?

Right on with ENugent and Billdo. IIAL, but not yours. I do wills and trusts and stuff. The liability laws are sigificantly different for employers versus independent contractors. I would suggest talking to a plaintiff’s PI lawyer who is knowledgable about both general tort law and Worker’s Comp law. Even if it cost you a few bucks for a consultation, you don’t want to miss out on any rights due to statute of limitations or preserving evidence matters.

Alice, unless Georgia has some very odd laws, your advice is wrong.

First, workers’ comp generally does not bar claims against people who are not your employer. (There may be a setoff against your recovery related to the comp payments you got, though.)

Second, without a contract, you can be fired for just about anything. Your employer could fire you because he doesn’t like your shoes. You could be fired because your middle name is Beth.
There are very limited statutory or public policy exceptions to this. Other than the familiar race/national origin/gender/handicap/age and similar discrimination laws, there are some narrow public policy reasons limiting an employer’s right to fire an employee. Usually, you can’t be fired for filing a comp claim, or for being away for jury duty, or reporting a crime. I’m far from sure that seeing a lawyer about a claim against a third party falls within one of these exceptions.

Bottom line is, unless you know something specific about Georgia or applicable Federal law that I don’t, you shouldn’t tell someone that he can’t be fired for pursuing a claim against a third party. If he acts on it, your advice could get him fired.

You must have caught me on a good day. Usually I’m a lot less polite with people who give bad legal advice in GQ.

While IAAL, I’m not one in Georgia. I’m not the lawyer of anyone in this thread. This is general cautionary information and not meant to be specific legal advice. See a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction (without letting your employer know) for that.

…and thanks to all of you who answered. I got two “free” sick days, and another addition to the knots already on this ol’ head of mine, but no permanent damage.