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Hand Rail Accidents

Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Representing Boston Employees

Handrails are there to make trips up and down stairs safer. In most cases, it is beneficial to keep one hand free to use the handrail. Common reasons not to use it include holding packages or a cellphone or another distraction. However, in some cases, such as if they are broken, handrails may make a stairway more dangerous. If you are injured due to a handrail accident at your workplace, you may be able to secure benefits with the assistance of our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys.

Handrail Accidents May Cause Serious Injuries

Falling down stairs due to a handrail accident may result in fractures, sprains, broken legs, bruises, and other injuries. These may be fully disabling or result in your not being able to do all of the duties related to your job. Most Massachusetts employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance to cover their workers' job-related injuries. Thus, for example, if you fell down the stairs while delivering a package from your supervisor downstairs to a manager upstairs and suffered a fracture, you would be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits for that fracture.

However, there are some handrail accidents that may or may not be covered by workers' compensation insurance. For example, what if you fell on stairs outside your work that lead to the door of your workplace, due to an icy handrail? The general rule is that workers' compensation does not apply to employees when they are going to or coming from their fixed place of work. There are exceptions, however.

When an employer has a legal responsibility to maintain the property that caused an injury, workers' compensation may be available. For example, if the employer owns the building and the handrail, and the employee has only one way into the building, the employer might be responsible for a defective handrail. On the other hand, if the employer is one of many companies inside a building, and there are many routes of entry, all maintained by someone other than the employer, the employee may not be able to get workers' compensation benefits for an injury arising out of an outdoor handrail accident.

If you are an employee who does not have a fixed place of work, you may also be able to recover workers' compensation benefits for a handrail accident. When an employee works away from the employer's jobsite, there are two factors to consider in determining whether the coming and going rule will apply. The first inquiry is whether you were being paid at the time of the accident. The second inquiry is whether you were reimbursed for the cost of travel between home and the place of the accident.

Even if the coming and going rule blocks you from being able to recover workers' compensation benefits for a handrail accident, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit in civil court against a non-employer.

Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with a Boston Attorney

Falling on the stairs may result in serious and disabling injuries. If you suffer injuries in a handrail accident while working, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The Boston attorneys at Pulgini & Norton may be able to advise and represent you. We handle claims on behalf of workers in Weymouth, Newton, Andover, and elsewhere in Massachusetts. For a free consultation with a workplace accident lawyer, contact us online or call us at 781-843-2200.