If you are an employee in the US, you probably have at least heard of workers’ compensation. This is a system designed to fully compensate workers for any injuries that occur as a result of doing their job. Despite the simplicity of the system, there are always going to be strange cases that raise a few questions. One common question many people have is whether they are still eligible for workers’ comp if the injury was their own fault. This question has a complicated answer, but an experienced Brooklyn, New York construction injury lawyer from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. can provide clarity.
Fault in Workers’ Comp Cases
The reason this issue is so complicated is because each state handles workers’ comp independently. While every state does require all employers to offer workers’ comp, the specific laws surrounding it do vary from state to state.
A result of this is that fault plays a bigger role in some states than others. It is most commonly the case that fault does not affect workers’ comp in any way. Even if the injury is entirely your fault, you can still be covered. In some states, however, the fault of the accident may invalidate workers’ comp coverage. Usually, if this is the case, workers’ comp is only invalidated if the accident is entirely your fault. Even if you are only 90 percent at-fault, you can still receive workers’ comp benefits. It is important to understand the laws for the state you work in. It may also be a good idea to speak with a Brooklyn, NY construction injury lawyer to better understand how this general rule works and whether any exceptions may apply in your situation.
There are two very important exceptions you should be aware of. These are:
In both of these cases, you will almost certainly not be able to receive workers’ comp benefits, no matter what state you are in. Very rarely, some people injure themselves with the hope of profiting through workers’ comp. The system only compensates injured workers for financial losses, making it impossible to earn more than what you lost. Schemes to make money in this way are therefore always doomed from the very start, even if the scheme is never found out. It should also go without saying that injuries caused by irresponsible intoxication are not covered by worker’s comp.
A few states also do not provide workers’ comp if the injury was caused by ignoring established safety precautions. There are other exceptions to these general rules, which is one of the many reasons why it’s beneficial to speak with a Brooklyn, NY construction injury lawyer if you’ve been hurt on the job. Additionally, a Brooklyn, NY construction injury lawyer from our firm will be able to assist you if you’ve been injured while working but you’re not eligible for workers’ compensation because you’re an independent contractor.