Visitor Question

Tripped and fell working at school…

Submitted By: Sharon (Lathrop, California)

I tripped over a computer cord at school where I work, broke my elbow and went into shock. The office staff witnessed me going into shock and called 911. I was checked by paramedics and after that an office staff individual took me to the ER at a hospital for treatment. I have been seen by an Orthopedic doctor and workmen’s comp doctor.

I have not been able to return to work as the school feels they are unable to accommodate my limitations. I was called this evening and the administrator talked about replacing me with someone else. For now the school has a substitute. I am concerned about my job as there are medical needs in our family.

The injury happened August 28, 2015. I will see the workmen’s comp doctor tomorrow.

The specialist wants to see me in two weeks because the recent diagnosis is a stiff elbow. What can happen to my position? Is it possible I can be replaced that quickly? What can I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Sharon,

From the facts you preset it appears the shock you suffered dissipated rather quickly. If it hadn’t, the paramedics would likely have transported you to the hospital for treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic

“Shock may result from trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, an allergic reaction, severe infection, poisoning, severe burns or other causes. When a person is in shock, his or her organs aren’t getting enough blood or oxygen. If untreated, this can lead to permanent organ damage or even death.

Signs and symptoms of shock vary depending on circumstances and may include:

-Cool, clammy skin -Pale or ashen skin -Rapid pulse -Rapid breathing -Nausea or vomiting -Enlarged pupils -Weakness or fatigue -Dizziness or fainting -Changes in mental status or behavior, such as anxiousness or agitation”

California is an “at-will” employment state. This means barring discrimination, or a written employment contract, an employee can be fired at any time for any reason. You sustained a broken elbow. At this time your elbow is “stiff.”

While your employer may try and accommodate your limitations, if you aren’t able to perform the essential duties of your job, your employer may terminate your employment and find another employee to assume your job duties.

Learn more here: Slip and Falls

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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