Workers’ compensation helps both employers and employees. The system covers certain expenses for on-the-job injuries and illnesses, including medical bills and wage benefits, and shields most employers from liability. What happens if you’re injured in a preventable accident? Can the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) deny your claim if you’re at fault for your injury?
Fault and workers’ compensation claims
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means that even if you’re to blame for your own injury, such as lifting something that is too heavy, you can still receive approved benefits after an injury.
This system is designed to keep employers and employees out of court. Instead of putting the burden on injured workers to prove they’re not at fault, and forcing employers to defend themselves, claimants simply need to show they were injured or sickened as a result of their employment. This saves everyone time and money, and helps keep more people in the workforce.
Exceptions to the no-fault workers’ compensation system
There are some exceptions to the no-fault system. First, if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that directly led to your injury, your claim may not be approved. However, your employer must prove that being under the influence caused your injury.
Second, if you purposely inflict harm upon yourself for a workers’ compensation payout, your claim may be denied. Similarly, if you ignore company policy (such as safety standards) and get injured anyway, your claim could be denied.
Finally, injuries sustained during fighting or horseplay may not be covered—but this can depend on the company culture and whether employers allow the behavior.
If your claim is affected by any of these exceptions, a Dworken & Bernstein attorney can help. Even though you’re not required to show fault for a workers’ compensation claim, it may be denied for these reasons. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you present your claim in the best light possible and defend you against accusations of being under the influence, purposeful harm, violating company policy or fighting and horseplay. They can also assist in appeals if your claim is denied, so you can pursue every possible avenue to a successful claim.
For more information about workers’ compensation claims, fault and benefits you may be able to recover, call Dworken & Bernstein today.