Were you injured at work? This can be both a frustrating and scary experience, especially if you had something to do with the accident. As a result, you’re likely asking yourself if you “can still receive workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?” Well, there’s good news: the system behind workers’ compensation isn’t fault-based, unlike that of a personal injury claim. To understand what this means for you, and to find workman injury compensation at St Paul, MN, read on below.
How Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Work?
As mentioned, workers’ compensation doesn’t work according to who is at fault, so whether or not you are to blame for the accident, you can still receive workers’ compensation. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, there can be instances (although rare) when an injured employee isn’t provided with such benefits.
What are the Exceptions to the Rule?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so there’s no need for an employee to prove that their employer or any other person may have caused their injury. There are, however, various situations in which an employee might not be able to claim their workers’ compensation.
Fighting and Horseplay
In many cases, an injured worker can still pursue their workers’ compensation benefits if another employee causes their injuries. But there is an exception; if the injured party was engaging in fighting or horseplay at the time of the accident, then they won’t be able to make a claim.
Keep in mind, however, fights that break out as a result of workplace issues can still fall under workers’ compensation. At the same time, an employee who was hurt while watching other employees fighting can also file a compensation claim.
Substance Abuse and Intoxication
Even if an employee doesn’t need to prove that someone else is at fault to succeed in their compensation claim, an injury that was inflicted as a result of substance abuse or intoxication won’t be covered.
While the courts are willing to enforce privacy rights for employees and have forbidden random drug testing for employees, any kind of workplace accident may warrant a drug test.
The Commute to Work
This is probably one of the most unexpected injuries that an employee may suffer from — unfortunately, this isn’t covered under the workers’ compensation system. Commuting to work includes traveling to and from your workplace, and isn’t limited to driving but also for injuries that may happen while walking or while inside public transportation.
However, if you were provided with a company car, don’t have a permanent job site, or were running an errand for your employer, then a car accident that occurs while on the job could be covered.
While a workers’ compensation claim has been designed to cover accidents in the workplace, it may not include events that happen outside of work. Some examples of these include injuries that result from work-related social events. These include:
- Holiday parties
- Company picnics
- Happy hours
These may not be covered by workers’ compensation — but if the employee was required to come to the event, or the employer was able to benefit from that employee’s presence, then they may be able to file a claim. Moreover, if the injury happened inside company grounds, a claim may also be appropriate.
Injuries Caused By General Negligence
There are some cases where an employee may injure themselves as a result of purely accidental events. Unfortunately, accidents can happen in any workplace, and as such, employees can’t be taken out from the workers’ compensation just because they had an accident.
Injuries that are caused by an employee’s ignorance of safety procedures, mistakes, or other negligent reasons can still be covered under-compensation. Again, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so it doesn’t matter who or what caused the accident.
Injuries Caused by Gross Negligence?
While employees are still able to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if an accident was their fault, there are times when gross negligence is involved that benefits are no longer awarded. Apart from the reasons already stated above, employees who injure themselves because they completely ignored safety measures are considered to be extremely negligent.
One example of this is an employee who purposefully misuses dangerous equipment. At times like this, they won’t be able to file a claim for their workers’ compensation since they willingly participated in a hazardous activity.
What About Personal Injury Claims?
While there are circumstances when a workers’ compensation claim isn’t possible, you might be able to file for a personal injury claim against those at fault. If you’ve been injured, you may pursue a third-party claim for personal injury against a non-employer, whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation.
In truth, several reasons as to why there are exceptions to the workers’ compensation were introduced because there are other ways to get some kind of compensation, such as personal injury claims and more. For instance, if you got injured and don’t qualify for a workers’ compensation claim, you can try getting a claim against the person at fault.
How Osterbauer Can Help You
Always remember that you can still be entitled to your workers’ compensation benefits even if you caused your injuries. Our attorneys are prepared to discuss the details of your case and to provide you with information regarding your rights. At Osterbauer Minnesota Injury Law Firm, we have represented employees that have been injured at work countless times.
Our team is always available to lead you through the process of getting workers’ compensation so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Call Us at Osterbauer Today
If you’re looking for workman injury compensation at St Paul, MN, our team of compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers is dedicated to helping you through your workers’ compensation claims. We believe that accident victims should recover the compensation they deserve. Whether you were injured at work, or through another party, we will help you deal with insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today for your free consultation at 612-334-3434 to take your first step towards moving on with your life.