Can your employer deny workers’ comp benefits over your mistake?
Sometimes, work accidents are truly injuries. Freak incidents or unexpected changes in the weather are the reason that someone gets hurt. Other times, the blame falls squarely on a co-worker who mixes the wrong chemicals or failed to check before maneuvering a vehicle at a work site.
In some workplace injury situations, the hurt employee is actually the person to blame for their own injury. They made a mistake while using a machine press and suffered a catastrophic injury to their hand or dropped a tool on their foot, lacerating the skin or breaking a bone.
If a worker caused their own injury, will that prevent them from claiming workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia?
You have the protection of no-fault coverage
The good news for hurt workers is that fault plays almost no role in the average workers’ compensation claim. You don’t have to prove that your employer made a mistake or failed to properly train you and therefore caused your injury. You also don’t have to worry about the employer pointing the finger back at you and accusing you of being to blame for the injury as a way to avoid providing you coverage.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of who is to blame for the injury. The only exception to that rule is when the worker intentionally hurt themselves to claim benefits or caused their injury due to intoxication. If someone fails a drug or alcohol test after getting hurt and their employer can show that impairment directly caused their injury, they may not receive the benefits that they otherwise would get.
Why pursuing workers’ compensation is worthwhile
Workers who feel guilty for contributing to their own injuries may feel like they don’t want to make a claim against their employers’ coverage, but that attitude is short-sighted.
While employees may have insurance of their own, health coverage through workers’ compensation won’t pass any expenses on to the injured employee. That means no co-pay, no deductible and no coinsurance due. They will also have a straightforward process to follow if they need disability benefits in addition to medical coverage.
Workers who get hurt, even if they are partially or fully responsible for their injury, still deserve and qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Determining if your case is eligible for workers’ compensation coverage is the first step toward getting benefits to protect yourself and your family.