What if I’m at Fault in a Work Injury?
Did you know that every year roughly 3% of American workers experience a work-related injury? If you’ve been injured on the job, then you likely want to know whether or not you’ll be compensated for any lost wages or medical bills.
Unfortunately, finding the answer to these questions isn’t always easy. If you’re at fault for causing your work-related injury, then the company or insurance provider may claim that they aren’t responsible for claims.
So, how do you determine if you’re at fault for your injury? And how does it affect your workers’ compensation or lawsuit options? If you want to know the answer to these questions and more, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about at fault work injury cases.
Table of Contents
How Do You Determine Who Was At Fault in a Work Injury?
Unfortunately, work injury cases can quickly turn into a case of the blame game. Employees blame their employers, while the company higher-ups try to shift the blame onto the employee.
So how do you objectively determine who’s at fault for the accident? Most of the time you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to find out who’s responsible.
These individuals will investigate the case and identify all the parties that are involved. They’ll then gather evidence and make a final liability determination. Then, the lawyer will present this evidence to the courts.
Ultimately, it’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure that the working environment of their employees is a safe one. However, this doesn’t mean that every accident that occurs is their fault.
More often than not fault is determined by the specific terms of employment provided by the employer at the start of the job. Each of these terms of employment can be different, but many have similar contract stipulations that affect your legal options.
For example, many standard contracts strictly forbid employees from being on drugs or alcohol while they work. As such, if a toxicology report shows that you were under the influence during the time of your injury, then it can affect your legal option.
If you want to determine all of your legal options when it comes to personal injury cases, then make sure to check out this article here (https://www.greenbergrubylaw.com/work-injury-claim-process).
Can You Still Get Workers’ Compensation If the Injury Is Your Fault?
Workers’ compensation is considered a no-fault insurance system. That means that to recover the benefits you aren’t required to determine liability. As long as the injury is work-related, then you should be entitled to recover workers’ compensation.
It doesn’t matter if you caused the accident due to forgetfulness, mistakes, or ignoring the safety systems. However, keep in mind that there are some types of scenarios where the insurance company may try to deny you workers’ compensation.
Most of the time this is not legal. However, there are some scenarios where they can be successful if the injuries were caused by negligence or gross misconduct. For example, let’s say you show up to work drunk or high on drugs.
If you’re injured in this state, then the insurance company might argue that you ignored safety measures in a grossly negligent way. Similarly, the purposeful misuse of dangerous equipment might also be used as an excuse to deny benefits.
Remember that in most cases this isn’t legal. However, you may need the help of a lawyer to help fight against the insurance companies.
When Should You Consider a Civil Lawsuit?
As we mentioned before, a civil lawsuit might not be a viable option if you’ve broken the terms of your employment contract. However, there are plenty of scenarios where you can be wrongly accused of being at fault.
For example, let’s say you were working with another employee who was acting negligently. Their negligence causes you to both be seriously injured. Unfortunately, during the claims process, the company lumps you both together.
This would be a scenario where a separate legal investigation would be needed. A more common situation occurs when you’re injured due to employer negligence. Despite it being the employer’s fault they might still try and pin the blame on your shoulders.
When this occurs, it’s important to hire a good personal injury lawyer right away. Then you will need to prove that it was your employer, not you, that’s at fault.
While this can be a straightforward process it’s by no means easy. A thorough investigation will follow that involves evidence, witness statements, and experts.
Legal Strategies If You’re At Fault
Determining fault isn’t always a black and white case. Often it comes in shades of grey. That’s why your lawyer might try and pursue a comparative fault defense.
This type of defense states that multiple parties are responsible for the accident and subsequent injury. From there, different percentages of fault are attributed to the parties.
For example, the plaintiff might be 60% responsible, while the defendant is 40% responsible. If this strategy is successful, then the defendants will only pay the percentage of the damages that is their fault. This method is ideal if the injury is partially your fault, but not entirely.
Want More Content? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you decide what to do if you’re at fault for a work-related injury. As you can see, you likely still have options when you’ve been injured on the job — even if the accident is your fault.
If you have workers’ compensation, then an at-fault injury won’t affect them. The issue gets more complicated if you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit.
However, the right type of lawyer can walk you through your options when they go over the details of your case. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more topics that you’re sure to love.