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Does fault matter in workers’ comp matters?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

In many types of personal injury cases, the key factor in the outcome of the case is simply who was at fault for the injuries in question. Say that you get involved in a car accident, for example. If the other driver was the one who was at fault, you can seek compensation from them due to their culpability. If you were at fault, you cannot seek compensation from them and they may end up suing you if they were harmed by your actions or inactions.

People often take this fault-based mindset to workers’ comp cases. But does it actually work the same way?

Fault usually does not matter

In reality, fault, often doesn’t matter in re: workers’ comp cases because the system has been specifically set up so that workers do not have to prove fault and neither do employers. Instead, businesses simply offer workers’ comp benefits to all of their employees in accordance with the law, often by purchasing insurance policies to make sure those costs are covered. If a worker gets injured while they are on the job, as long as that injury is related to their work (and isn’t subject to a policy exception), they can usually get their benefits without much fuss.

There may be some extreme cases in which fault can play a role. For example, if a worker becomes intoxicated on the job and gets injured, they may be held liable for their injuries because they wouldn’t have happened absent intentionally dangerous conduct on the part of the worker. The same thing could be true if there is a situation where someone intentionally does something to cause their own injury.

However, the vast majority of injuries just happen because someone made a mistake. That victim may have been partially responsible – or even totally responsible – for their injuries, but they will not be denied workers’ comp benefits. If they were at work and attempting to carry out the duties that they had been assigned when they were injured, concerns about fault should not prevent them from getting compensation for things like medical bills or a portion of their wages.

As such, if you have been hurt on the job, be sure you know what legal steps to take because you are likely entitled to benefits at this time.

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