What if the Work Accident Was My Fault? Can I Still Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Yes, in many situations you can get Workers’ Compensation, even if you are at fault for an accident, as long as you weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. If you are in a situation where you have suffered an injury at your place of work, then you have every right to seek compensation. There are many ways to recover compensation for your injuries. An injury attorney who is professionally trained and specializes in this type of law can help you make sure that you receive the maximum amount of possible compensation for your injuries.

a woman suffering an injury at work

What are the Common Reasons a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?

There are a number of reasons for denial of a Workers’ Compensation claim, and sometimes they can seem somewhat arbitrary. The nature of the work being done and the condition of the worker are two of the main factors that influence whether or not a claim is approved. If you do not have an adequate prior work history, this is usually the reason why your claim has been rejected. This is because a worker must have a steady job for at least two years before filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.

A Mismatch of Expectations

Perhaps the most common reason for denials of workers’ compensation claims is that the employer has what is known as incompatibility or mismatch of expectations. Simply put, when an employee files a compensation claim for injuries received on the job, the employer must either prove that the injury was not consistent with the employee’s work environment or that the employee’s conduct was inherently dangerous. Unfortunately, many employers have been found to fall within this very narrow guideline. 

Issues Surrounding Company Policies

The second most common reason for denial is that the claim may be claimed by an employee who was not performing his or her duties in accord with the employer’s policy. Again, the employer’s policy is reviewed in great detail. There are often statements in the policy manual that discuss what types of activities are to be considered “work-related activities.” 

Other employers may simply refuse to tolerate any deviation from their normal business policies and procedures. Employers will often argue that the injury was “created” by the worker when, in fact, the injury was the result of negligence on the part of the employer. It is also common for employers to attempt to minimize the severity of an injury or condition by mischaracterizing it. 

This is a classic example of employer psychological tactics and should be taken as a serious indication that the claim has probably fallen through the cracks. If you have been injured at work, and your employer has denied your Workers’ Compensation claim, for this reason, you should consider filing a lawsuit to force the issue. Ultimately, the court is responsible for determining whether the employer’s actions were reasonable and within the scope of the law.

Previous Illness or Injury

Denial of a Workers’ Compensation claim due to a previous illness or injury is also something to take into account. For example, an employee may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits but be denied coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition. It is important that you know the exact situation that occurred so that you can prepare your defense against the employer’s denial of benefits.

Issues Surrounding Drugs or Alcohol

Finally, another common reason for the denial of a Workers’ Compensation claim is the employer may believe you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If your job has a drug and alcohol policy, you should consult with your lawyer to determine if your claim will be denied.

How Can I Prove the Employer-Provided Unsafe Working Conditions?

After your claim is filed, the employer will try to establish that your job was safe during the time you were working. To determine whether your job was actually safe, a thorough investigation of the facility where you work must be conducted. This is when an employer will have to look for signs of misuse and hazards such as broken lighting, dangerous machinery, and other equipment that may have caused your injury. Far too often, employers will try to remedy deficiencies as quickly as possible to avoid further accidents or try to disprove your claim.

What do I do if my Employer Does Not Offer Any Compensation?

If your employer does not offer any type of workers’ compensation benefits, you may have to sue them. If you are working in an area where there are no worker’s comp claims, you may not need to get this type of compensation. But if you are working in an area where these types of benefits are common, it may be time to file a claim against your employer.

What About a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is filed by someone who has been harmed because of the negligence of another person or entity. If you have been harmed because of the actions of your employer, you should consult with a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. He or she can tell you what your best avenue for filing a claim will be.

Should I File My Claim Before I Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

An employer may try to avoid Workers’ Compensation claims and attempt to dissuade you from filing one. This is common in some industries. But if an injury occurs, you deserve to be compensated for your troubles. So don’t let your employer get away with it!

Many times in these situations, it is wise to consult with an attorney before taking any action at all. If you do decide to proceed, there are some things that you should consider to ensure that you are properly filing for a Workers’ Comp claim. Your Workers’ Compensation attorney can advise you on whether your employer has a negligence policy and may also be able to help you determine whether or not that policy is valid. Additionally, they can explain how exactly your rights will be affected if you are injured at work.

Many people ask the question ‘how can I get compensation if I am at fault for my own injuries or those of others?’ An experienced injury attorney can answer that question, as well. He or she can let you know what your particular circumstances may be and what your rights are in light of being the cause of a work-related accident.

Don’t wait any longer than necessary. Save yourself a trip to our office by scheduling a free virtual consultation. Simply contact us online or call us at (866) 460-1990 to privately discuss your case right over the phone or in a secure virtual meeting. 

Verdicts and Settlements

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Settlement for motorcycle accident


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