Can I Still Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits If The Accident Was My Fault?

can i claim workers' compensation benefits if accident my fault

Can I still receive workers' compensation benefits if the accident was my fault? The number of workers’ compensation claims vary by state, but the complexity of the process you’ll go through to file a workers’ comp claim will also vary depending on the state you’re in. Fortunately, there are options for recovering some form of worker compensation benefits regardless of whether you were at fault or not in most cases. 

Workers’ comp is designed to be a safety net if you are injured on the job, and you need to recover. It’s still best to know your rights and also to seek out legal representation so that you can more adequately represent your case in court if needed. 

What Is Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation is designed to offer assistance in case you are injured on the job. In most cases, it can cover rehabilitation and medical expenses for the time it takes for you to recover, so that you can return to work without worrying about how you will cover those costs. 

Since expenses go far beyond the cost of recovery, workers’ comp can also cover lost wages as well as death benefits to beneficiaries left behind when a worker is killed on the job. It can also cover permanent partial as well as permanent total disability benefits if applicable. 

As you might expect, the most common industries to be affected by workers’ compensation claims are non-construction laborers, semi-truck drivers, janitors, nurses assistants, general repair workers, salespeople, construction workers, and delivery drivers. 

What Factors Might Affect Your Eligibility For Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation claims might ask questions about what happened, but in most cases, your fault or non-fault does not come into consideration for the eligibility of the claim. There could, however, be mitigating circumstances, which could affect whether you would be eligible. 

Were You Under The Influence? 

It’s a simple question, and it may not even affect your claim. If you admit that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if your employer was able to prove via a company-required drug testing that you were under intoxicated, you could be ineligible for workers’ comp. 

Were You Doing Something Illegal? 

This is another instance that might not be easy to prove unless you were caught in the act of stealing or performing other illegal actions. This stipulation could also come into play if you were injured in a fight with another employee, which is typically against company policy and may come under scrutiny as an illegal act. 

Were You On The Job Site Or At The Office When The Injury Occurred? 

The place of work stipulation can get a little sticky, since work may be performed at a range of locations both remote and mobile-vehicle related. You might recall that many workers’ comp claims involve semi- truck drivers and delivery drivers. 

Those cases could come under consideration but would likely still be eligible for workers’ comp unless there was something wildly inconsistent or inappropriate in how or where the accident occurred. It’s a factor that you should keep in mind as you move forward, though, and you may want to discuss it with your attorney if you believe that it might be an issue. 

What Happens When You Are Injured? 

When you are injured on the job, you must inform the company immediately. Delay will not only cause a longer lapse for receiving benefits, but it may undermine the criticality of your claim. In many cases, you’ll need to inform the HR Department so that they can begin the process of reporting the claim. 

They also need to know the reason for your absence at work as you seek medical assistance for your on- the-job injury. As part of the process of seeking medical intervention, be sure to capture photos of your injury, and track possible witnesses who will be able to offer further insight into what happened. 

Next Step: Schedule Your Consult With A Workers’ Compensation Attorney 

In most cases, your workers’ comp claim will be processed without issue, and you should receive the benefits that you’re owed. However, there are cases where the injury is severe, your recovery is prolonged, and you may not feel that your best interests are being represented. 

If you are ever in the need of a second opinion or even a first opinion about the validity of your workers’ compensation complaint, schedule your free consult. We’ll go over your situation, offer insight into the workers’ compensation process, and walk you through the likely outcome in your case. 

While we can’t always promise that your case will have merit or grounds to move forward with a claim for further remediation, we’re here to offer our experience, insight, and expert recommendations to help you navigate the often-complicated process. Workers' comp attorneys in NYC are what you need right now, and we’re here to help.

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