Nov 9, 2018

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May I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits If the Accident Was Partially My Fault?

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Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Every workplace injury situation is unique. And for workplace safety purposes, understanding the context surrounding every injury and workplace illness is key to preventing similar harm in the future. However, context is not necessarily a primary concern when discussing eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Although there are times when the issue of fault is important in determining eligibility, these instances are rare. In general, if a worker is injured or made ill on the job and that worker is covered by workers’ compensation insurance protections, that worker is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits associated with the harm that he or she has suffered.

Accidents are generally caused by a variety of factors in combination. It is rare that a worker is entirely at fault for a workplace accident. For example, say that a truck driver is involved in a collision. That truck driver believes he or she is at fault for that collision because the truck operator was drowsy at the time of the crash. However, the driver had been significantly pressured by his or her employer in the days leading up the collision to make more deliveries than normal on a tighter timetable. Technically, the truck driver may be at fault for being drowsy while driving, but the employer is at fault for placing the driver in a position to be operating heavy machinery while overworked.

Because multiple factors in combination tend to inspire workplace accidents, it can be difficult to correctly assign fault in situations that result in injury. Partially as a result of this fact, many workers remain fully eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of an accident, even if a review of the situation places the worker partially (or even totally, in some situations) at fault for the harm caused. Workers’ compensation almost always operates as a no-fault system. In exchange for the fact that workers’ entitled to benefits may not generally sue employers when they are harmed on the job, they tend to remain eligible for benefits regardless of accident-related fault.

With that said, it is important to note that there are situations in which a worker may be considered ineligible to receive benefits based on fault. If a worker brings a loaded gun to work with the intention of harming others and ends up literally shooting himself or herself in the foot in the process, that worker will not be eligible to receive benefits even though the accident occurred while the worker was on the job.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits generally or eligibility specifically, please consider reaching out to an experienced Plantation, FL work injury lawyer. Lawyers whose practices specialize in workers’ compensation and worker safety will be able to advise you of your legal options after learning about your specific circumstances. If you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim, an attorney will be able to help you navigate the claims process as successfully as possible and with as few delays as possible.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig and Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation benefits and fault.