Does a mistake on the job prevent a workers’ compensation claim?

Workplace accidents occur in all industries and for all sorts of reasons. Maybe someone in a warehouse gets hurt because they have trouble with having equipment. Perhaps failure of a copier leads to a burn or electrical injury for an administrative professional.

Some of the workplace injuries that occur are the result of random freak accidents that no one could really prevent. However, quite a few injuries on the job are the direct result of a specific cause, like a personal mistake or a lack of adequate machinery maintenance.

Someone working in the production facility could severely injure themselves through something as simple as a minor timing mistake, for example. If you are the one to blame for your injury on the job, does that mean you can’t get workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program

It does not matter if your employer has surveillance footage of you tripping hitting your head on the wall. Even though you were the only person involved and are clearly ultimately to blame for your injury, you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits because it is a no-fault form of insurance.

With the exception of scenarios where a worker hurts themselves intentionally, fault is not factored into workers’ compensation claims. You can claim benefits even if there is no question that you are the one responsible for the injury you suffered.

The only other exception beyond intentionally hurting yourself is if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while working. Failing a drug test could complicate a workers’ compensation claim and potentially make you ineligible for benefits.

Employers shouldn’t try to stop you from filing a claim

Your manager might have told you that the company would fight your claim because you are at fault for the incident that hurt you. Sometimes, the people who operate a business will try to avoid their responsibilities to the workers there. They might lie to a worker about their right to workers’ compensation benefits or threaten to retaliate against them if they file a claim.

Workers should be able to assert their rights on the job without worrying about losing their income or fighting a legal battle against their employer. Companies that wrongfully penalize you could face consequences for their violations of employment laws. Learning more about how workers’ compensation helps employees make it easier for you to pursue a claim.