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Slip and fell on ice at work. I hurt my back. Do I need to seek an attorney for legal representation or let my work handle it?

Knoxville, TN |

On January 24th 2013, I was walking into work on a designated snow route and slipped on ice. I fell and noticed a sharp pain in my lower back including some pain in my upper back. Im 28 years old and have no history of back problems other then spasms from football! I fell in front of an ambulance who was loading another injured employee up for falling on the same ice patch! The Dr initially told me it was a strain however she called back and said the radiologist said I had a fractured vertebrae in my L1 T12. I am experiencing sharp pain and tingling in my left leg. Im really freaked out and wonder what I need to do as far as hiring an attorney or letting my work take care of everything? I go for an MRI monday and have been out of work this weekend.

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Attorney answers 8

Best Answer

There are many good lawyers handling worker's compensation claims in Knoxville. You need to contact them and find one that is right for you. It sounds like the fracture is impinging your nerv causing the pain and sensation to radiate down into your legs. This condition, unfortunately, will not simply go away. You doctors may provide you with conservative treatment first and may resort to surgeries if it doesn't. What you need, however, is compnsation for the time you will also be unable to work and for your other damages. By all means, please go see a lawyer to protect your rights before you talk to the employer's insruance company. They are only looking out for threir own bottom linee.

Law is state-specific and laws may vary from state to state. You should consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice. This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Retain a local workers comp lawyer to assist you with a workers comp claim. The lawyer can also investigate whether there was 3rd party liability, if for example, an outside company was supposed to take care of the snow removal.

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If the fall was in the course and scope of employment, you have a worker's compensation claim. I'm not sure if falls on the way into work are considered "work-related" under TN law. If someone other than your employer is responsible for the premises where you fell, you have a liability claim against the owner or manager of the lot. Use this site to find a personal injury and/or workers comp lawyer near you. Good luck


Workers' comp lawyers usually give free consultations. Take advantage of that and go talk to one or two workers' comp lawyers. You need to find out whether you have a valid claim or not and if so, to what benefits are you entitled? You also need to know about any filing requirements you need to meet in order to protect yourself.

This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.


If I were you I would seriously consider hiring an experienced workers compensation attorney to guide you through this process in order to make sure that your legal rights are properly vindicated. Unfortunately, over the years I have seen way too many cases where the employer's workers compensation insurance carrier tries to deny benefits to a worker that the worker is legally entitled to by among other things (1) refusing to provide the employee with a panel of of at least three (3) qualified physicians from which to choose in accordance with the workers compensation statute, (2) refusing to pay temporary total disability benefit payments during periods of time that employee has been placed off work by his or her authorized treating physician, or (3) refusing to offer a fair settlement of the worker's permanent partial or total disability claim once maximum medical improvement has been achieved.

If you would like to discuss your situation with me, feel free to call my office at (865) 546-0011. Or you could also drop me an email at the address listed below.


First and foremost, you need to notify your employer of your injury. Workers' compensation claims can be denied because the injured employee did not give timely notice (30 days after the incident) of the injury to his/her employer. However, it sounds as if your employer is aware. Your employer should have then provided you with a panel of at least three physicians for you to choose.

If none of the actions have occurred, I would strongly advise to contact a workers' compensation attorney immediately. Even if the employer has taken the requisite steps, I would still encourage to contact an attorney or several attorneys who can explain how Tennessee's workers' compensation laws will impact your injury with regard to being paid while missing time from work, returning to work, and how future medical treatment will be handled.

I am available to discuss these issues and answer any other questions you may have at a time convenient for you.
(615) 515-3530


Hire an attorney. In addition to a workers compensation claim, you may have a personal injury claim if a company other than your employer cleared the designated snow route. Although the representative of your employer's workers compnesation insurance carrier may appear helpful at the beginning, that changes as the cost to the insurance carrier increases as you require more medical treatment. I've had a back injury and surgery myself so I know how a back injury may affect your job performance in the future and your employer's willingness to retain you as an employee. You need to make sure you receive all the medical treatment you need and workers compensation benefits you're entitled to. Hire an attorney tomorrow. I'm in Johnson City so if you need any help, call me at the office tomorrow (800-371-7171) and I'll be glad to answer your questions.

This response is given solely as a general response to the question and does not create an attorney / client relationship between the questioner and responder.


The severity of your injury and where it happened means you have a lot of medical considerations in your future. Everyone else in the situation will have representation - and given the serious nature of a lumbar vertebrae fracture, I definitely recommend you consult with a good workers' compensation attorney early. See my legal guide for the many reasons why early involvement can help prevent a LOT of problems in work injury cases.