When you think of a workers’ compensation claim, you probably think of straightforward, clear-cut cases. For example, throwing out your back after doing some heavy lifting, or suffering a severe cut while using a knife or box cutter. But what about other types of injuries? Can you recover workers’ compensation even if you’re entirely to blame for the accident?
Is the injury work-related?
If you were to break the workers’ compensation system down to its bare bones essence, the only real question of whether workers’ comp covers an injury is whether the injury was work-related. Workers’ comp doesn’t care about placing blame. It doesn’t matter if you were at fault or if your employer was entirely at fault for the accident, you should still be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
The other side of the coin is that a blameless system largely limits your recovery to benefits provided through workers’ comp. You can’t sue your employer for any additional damages. However, this also protects you from additional civil action if the accident was your fault.
Of course, things are rarely so simple
While the workers’ compensation system appears straightforward, it wouldn’t be a legal topic if it weren’t complicated. There can be a lot of debate over whether an injury or illness is really work-related. You can easily have a valid claim denied. You should always discuss your options with a skilled professional.