Does Fault Figure Into Workers’ Compensation Claims?
You were injured at work, but your employer was not to blame for the accident. In truth, it was your own fault that you got hurt, and now you aren’t sure whether you can claim workers’ compensation.
The good news is that the fault that you bear for your injury does not factor into your eligibility. Workers’ compensation was specifically designed to be a no-fault system in which you receive compensation for your injuries even if you caused them, or if they were caused by a freak accident for which no one can be held responsible.
However, if someone outside of work was responsible for your injury, you may be able to take legal action to collect damages in addition to compensation. Reach out to a workers compensation lawyer in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Who Benefits From a No-Fault Work Comp System?
In the days before there was workers’ compensation, the only way for a worker who was hurt on the job to receive lost wages and medical expenses was to file a lawsuit against his or her employer. This required the employee to prove that the employer was at fault for the accident. It required the employer to assume the costs of defending himself or herself against the lawsuit. It also flooded the courts with large caseloads of work-related injury claims.
The injured employee would have to wait many months for a decision from the court regarding compensation, and if the courts decided against him or her, the injured employee would end up with nothing.
While the current system of no-fault workers’ compensation certainly isn’t perfect, it resolves a lot of these issues. Courts are not burdened with the large number of work-related injury cases that arise every year, employers do not have to expend time or money defending themselves in court, and you have a reasonable expectation of receiving compensation in a timely manner.
What if Someone Else Was at Fault?
If your injury was the fault of a third party, i.e., someone not under the control of your employer at the time of the accident, it does not affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation because of the no-fault system. However, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and collect further damages. For example, if you were injured in a car accident when you were driving for your delivery job, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver to collect damages in addition to your workers’ compensation.
However, fellow employees do not count as third parties because they are considered to be under your employer’s control.
Despite the mutually beneficial aspects of the work comp system, some employers try to get out of paying what they owe. One of our attorneys may be able to help you collect. Contact Hickey & Turim SC today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case.
Posted on November 16, 2021 @ 6:55 pm