You may be quick to place the blame when a coworker or your employer is directly responsible for your workplace injury. On the other hand, you may be reluctant to report an injury if your actions played a role in the accident. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system does not care who’s at fault.
Taking blame out of the equation
Both employers and employees receive protection through the workers’ compensation system. For example, let’s say your actions directly caused an accident which resulted in your injuries. You are still eligible to receive workers’ comp because the accident occurred at work. Fault is not a factor.
The flip side of a blameless system is employers are shielded from additional liability. In other words, your recovery as far as your employer is concerned is limited to workers’ compensation. You cannot sue your employer for additional damages outside of workers’ comp.
What about other parties?
Some workplace accidents may involve parties other than your coworkers or your employer. For example, let’s say some of your job-related duties include driving from one location to another. During one of these trips, you get in an accident with another driver, and you wind up with serious injuries.
You can claim workers’ compensation benefits for this type of accident. You may also be able to pursue additional damages from the other driver through a third-party liability claim. Discussing your situation with a professional can help you determine your available options.
What appears straightforward is not always so
This all seems simple enough. If you’re hurt at work, you should be eligible to recover workers’ compensation, regardless of who may have been at fault. If a third-party was involved, you might have an additional means of pursuing compensation. However, what’s simple on paper is often more complicated in real life.
Denial of valid workers’ compensation claims happens all the time. You can increase your odds of success by working with a professional who can help guide you through this process.