Getting injured on the job can be a harrowing experience. You’re doing what you do every day, but very suddenly an unanticipated accident leaves you with a catastrophic injury. Did you play a role in the incident? You may be worried that your actions are what caused your injuries, and you may wonder how this will affect your ability to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Don’t worry — you can rely on our attorneys to help.
You are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation even if you were partly or wholly at fault for causing the injury. That’s because workers’ benefits are not related to fault – neither your fault nor your employer’s. This mean your employer cannot deny your claim because of your role in the injury (except for in limited circumstances listed below), and it also generally bars you from suing your employer if you believe they are responsible for your accident. You would be able to potentially sue your employer if egregious negligence or criminal wrongdoing played a role, but the bar is high.
There are limited circumstances in which an employee’s actions could lead to denial of benefits:
- The worker was drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs when the accident occurred
- The worker intentionally caused their own injuries
Your employer would have to show that intoxication or fraudulent self-injury occurred. Most cases of work injury do not fall into these categories but are instead the risk we all run as a result of our jobs, which is why workers’ compensation exists to protect you.
Mistakes happen. However, simple carelessness does not justify denying an injured employee the payments they will need to pay for medical care and/or replace lost wages.
Legal Advocacy for All Phases of the Work Injury Process
The claims process for workers’ compensation can be daunting, especially when you are also dealing with a serious injury. Not only that, a denial and need to appeal are also possibilities. Johnson & Biscone can help with all stages of this process, whether you’ve just been injured, or you recently discovered your claim was denied. To speak to our experienced Oklahoma work injury lawyers, please call our team at 405-232-6490.