Workers’ comp insurance doesn’t require a determination of responsibility. This is a no-fault system and as an employee who got injured at work, you can get funds from your company’s workers’ compensation insurance, even if you caused the accident. Many employees think they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation if they were responsible for their injuries.
If you were injured in a workplace accident (even if you caused it) you can file for workers’ compensation, but if you fear you might not get it, you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Reasons for Your Injuries
In most cases, workers cause injuries because of their mistakes, negligence, or forgetfulness. Accidents can happen anyplace and anytime, so the employee is not excluded from causing one.
If the injuries were caused by an employee’s mistakes, ignorance of safety procedures, or negligence, they can still get the workers’ compensation. Don’t forget that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so no one will question whether you should get the settlement if you were responsible for your injuries.
When you file for the settlement, all you need to prove is that you got injured at your workplace, while doing your job. As long as you have evidence that you got your injury at work or the accident and injury were directly caused by your position, you should be able to get the benefits (once you complete the necessary processes). Your employer and their insurance company may try to use your “fault” to deny the workers’ compensation claim, but this is an illegal practice.
Misconduct and Gross Negligence
If you were technically at fault for your occupational injuries you can get workers’ compensation benefits in some cases. These benefits are banned for employees who injured themselves by engaging in misconduct or gross negligence. This includes circumstances such as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or completely ignoring safety measures which is considered a negligent act. For example, if you purposefully misuse dangerous equipment, you may not be able to get benefits because you knowingly did a hazardous activity.
The “Horseplay” Exception
There are cases where the employee may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they got injured by their own fault. This is the so-called “horseplay” situation.
When the employee is messing around at work, it is called horseplay. The worker may be on or off their working hours when the injury occurs. If the injury happens because the worker was messing around, the employer won’t give the claim. In such cases, the court will determine if the employee was engaged in horseplay. In case the injury didn’t “arise out of the worker’s employment”, it means that the worker was not doing their job when they got injured.
Violence and Fights
If the injury happened because the employee started a fight with a co-worker or supervisor, then the employee cannot expect to get the workers’ compensation benefits. If another employee started the fight, you might get the claim.
It’s important to determine who started first. If the other employee was insulting you or provoking you and you started the fight, you’re at fault and you won’t get your workers’ compensation benefits.
If you intentionally injured yourself while at work, the chances of receiving your workers’ compensation benefits are almost non-existent. This rule prevents workers from causing accidents (staging the accident) or injuring themselves so they can get the workers’ compensation benefits. This type of action is illegal and is considered a workers’ compensation fraud.
You Got Fired After Injuring Yourself By Your Fault
It’s illegal for an employer to terminate your employment only because you filed for a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer can fire you for violating safety requirements or taking unnecessary risks at work. If this happened to you, you should seek a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Unless you did the accident on purpose because you wanted to get the claim (and there is evidence about it), you have the right to get the claim and keep your job.
If you recently got injured at your workplace and you were responsible for the accident, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. You may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you caused your own injuries. If you fear you might not get the claim, contact our office today.
Our team at Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition is here to answer your questions in a free case review.