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Does personal fault influence workers’ compensation claims?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | WC - Benefits |

When an employee gets hurt at work, they may have to absorb a variety of losses. They may need to leave their shift early, meaning they lose out on income. They will have to pay for medical treatment, which could quickly add up to a significant amount of money. If their injuries are severe enough, they may need to take a lengthy leave of absence or even change what job functions they perform.

If workers had to handle all of those losses on their own, people would likely turn down job offers in high-risk industries because they couldn’t gamble on the possibility of losing their future earning potential. Workers’ compensation coverage helps take some of the danger out of high-risk jobs. However, not every employee who applies for benefits will get them right away. Some face challenges from their employers. As a result, some workers understandably wonder about what would happen if their employer blamed them for their injury.

Workers have no-fault protection overseen by the state

The Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance program requires that companies that hire employees, as opposed to independent contractors, provide workers’ compensation coverage for their staff members. Anyone injured on the job or diagnosed with a condition related to their employment can potentially apply for benefits.

The no-fault benefits available through workers’ compensation help provide the most  universal protection possible. Workers don’t have to worry about meeting some arbitrary evidentiary standard to prove that their employer was to blame for their injuries. They also don’t have to worry about the company fighting their claim by blaming them for the incident.

Someone who trips over untied shoelaces, cuts themselves with a tool or makes a timing error is as eligible for benefits as someone struck by falling equipment. However, there is an exception to no-fault coverage. If a company can prove that a worker hurt themselves on purpose, that could affect their eligibility for benefits. Additionally, if a worker fails a drug or alcohol test and the company can show that intoxication contributed to their injuries, that could limit their eligibility for benefits.

Understanding the rules that apply to workers’ compensation claims may help injured employees feel more confident about asking for disability or health benefits. It’s important to remember, however, that those who have questions can seek legal guidance at any time.


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