Receiving Workers’ Compensation for Injuries that Are Your Fault
When you are injured at work, you are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. What if the injury was your own fault, though? Can you still receive compensation? In most cases, yes. That’s one of the great things about workers’ compensation. If you are the one who crashes the forklift, you typically will still receive protection through workers’ comp. There are some exceptions, however, so it’s important you understand when you may not be entitled to compensation.
Drug or Alcohol Use
If intoxication was the main factor that led to your injury, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation. There are some exceptions to the rule, but most employers are not responsible to provide payment if you come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, if you are drunk, walk into work and pass out because of your drunkenness, any injuries sustained may not qualify for compensation. If you are drunk, just sitting at your desk and a ceiling tile falls on your head, however, you would probably still qualify.
If you were goofing around at work in a manner that is unacceptable in the workplace, you may not receive a payout for any injuries you sustain as a result. Again, there are exceptions, but in many cases, a complete disregard for professionalism can lead to you not qualifying for compensation. For example, if you and a coworker have an ongoing “play fighting” routine, but you have been disciplined for the behavior, and you are injured during one of your sessions, you probably wouldn’t be compensated. However, if your employer just laughs it off or sometimes even joins in on it, you may be entitled to compensation.
Every company sets policies that are designed to keep employees, customers, and other individuals safe. If you acted in direct violation of company policy and were injured because of that disregard, you may not receive compensation. For example, if you have a policy that states employees are not allowed to perform any electrical repairs in the office, but you decide it will be fine “just this once,” and are injured because of it, you may not receive compensation.
If you purposely engage in fighting or self-infliction of injury, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation. Some states have specific laws in regard to a willful intent to injure either yourself or another employee, and that can disqualify you from benefits.
Contacting a Lawyer to Learn More
Every situation is unique, so whether you think you deserve compensation or not, it’s best you speak with a lawyer. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers compensation attorney Brooklyn trusts, today to learn more.
Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into receiving workers’ compensation for injuries that were your own fault.