There’s nothing worse than getting injured while on the job. Not only will you miss out on necessary hours of work and wages, but you may also rack up a substantial amount of medical bills that you can’t afford to pay later. Workers’ compensation is designed to keep this from happening and get you back to work faster, but it’s not for every situation. If you were responsible for your own injury on the job, you may wonder if you still qualify for it. Here’s a rundown of how workers’ compensation might still benefit you even if you were at fault.
Basics of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is relatively straightforward. It’s simply insurance coverage that your employer obtains to pay for claims that an employee can make if he or she is injured while working. First, you need to make sure your company has workers’ compensation. Though some states require it for a company that has only one employee, others only require it once the number of employees has reached a minimum amount. If your employer does have coverage, you can proceed with filing a claim.
If You’re Responsible for Your Injury
You were injured on the job, but you know that it was your own negligence or carelessness that caused the accident in the first place. Can you still get workers’ compensation? Usually, the answer is yes. Workers’ compensation is specifically designed to give workers money to get back on their feet and back to work regardless of who is responsible. This takes the burden of liability off the shoulders of the company you work for as well, which encourages them to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
When You May Be Denied Compensation
Not every situation is clean-cut. Sometimes certain factors involved in the accident directly affect whether you can make that workers’ compensation claim or not. These generally revolve around if the injured employee acted in a way that directly violated guidelines or ignored obvious measures of responsibility. These are some reasons your claim may be denied:
- Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Goofing around
- Obviously violating your company’s policies and rules regarding safety
- Fighting or intentionally trying to injure someone else while ignoring potential harm to yourself
While workers’ compensation is great for legitimate accidents that simply occurred because of happenstance, it does not get you off the hook for knowingly irresponsible behavior. If you aren’t sure whether your case can win a workers’ compensation claim, it may be worth your time to discuss it with a work injury attorney in New Jersey.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and your rights.