If I Was at Fault for My Workplace Injury, Can I Still Receive Workers’ Compensation?
Getting injured while at work is a scary and frustrating experience, especially if you feel you were partly to blame for the accident. You are probably concerned about whether you will still be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits if you were at fault for your workplace injury, but the good news is that the workers’ compensation system is not fault-based, unlike personal injury claims. Therefore, regardless if you fully to blame or just somewhat at fault for your own injuries, you can still receive workers’ compensation.
There are some exceptions to the rule, however. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, there are some rare cases in which an injured employee would not be able to receive these vital benefits.
Exceptions to the Rule
As a general rule of thumb, injured employees are able to receive workers’ compensation even if their own negligence caused the accident that resulted in their injuries. That said, there are some situations in which a worker would not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, such as:
- You intentionally injured yourself: Intentionally injuring yourself will not only render you ineligible from receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but it is also illegal and considered fraud. If it is proven that you staged your own accident to extract these benefits, you will have a lot more to worry about than simply not receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
- You were involved in a violent altercation: Did you start a fight with a co-worker? If you threw the first punch and the fight that ensued resulted in your injuries, you would not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if your co-worker verbally provoked you through insults.
- You were intoxicated: If you were intoxicated your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation benefits is likely in serious jeopardy.
Additionally, although it is not legal for an employer to terminate a worker’s employment due to a workplace injury, if you caused your own injury in any of the aforementioned ways, your employer could fire you for taking unnecessary risks at work. Hire an attorney if you are unsure if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.