Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover Injuries That Were Your Own Fault?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover medical bills and lost wages in the event that a person was injured on the job. Covered injuries and illnesses are often broadly defined to favor the employee. Generally, if you are on the job in an activity that benefits your employer and are injured, you should receive benefits from workers’ compensation. But what if the accident was your fault? Should workers’ compensation still cover your injuries?
Generally, even if you are responsible for the accident, workers’ compensation will still cover your injuries. For example, if you are injured in a car accident while driving a deposit to the bank for your employer, workers’ compensation should still pick up the medical bills, even if the accident was your fault.
However, you should keep in mind that your state may have rules that define how benefits are handled under the workers’ compensation program. You should be covered if you were injured on break, at least if you are still on the employer’s property. Most states cover injuries that happen at the workplace, even if you are clocked out. Maybe you fall in the parking lot on your way into work before you clock in. If the parking lot is your employer’s property, it should fall under workers’ compensation.
If you are injured off-site, the injuries are covered only if the activity was within the scope of your employment. Injuries that occur during business travel or while traveling between sites are generally covered by workers’ comp. If you were required to be somewhere due to employment, workers’ comp should cover the injury.
Exclusions to Workers’ Compensation
Most state labor laws exclude injuries that occur when the employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are drinking or using drugs, it may exclude you from getting benefits unless you can show that the accident was unavoidable or not your fault. In some places, the injury may be non-occupational if chemical testing shows high levels of alcohol and drugs in your system.
Injuries at social events, picnics or happy hour, are also generally excluded from workers’ compensation benefits. Fights and horseplay may also be excluded, unless you are simply a bystander in the altercation.
Confused By Workers’ Comp Benefits?
If you are denied workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related injury, you may want to talk to a personal injury attorney. You may have solutions that fall outside of the workers’ comp insurance. Your workers compensation attorney in the Bronx may have ideas on how to present your case to the worker’s comp board to have your claim approved.
Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and injuries that were your own fault.