Does Workers' Compensation Cover Employee Negligence?


On-the-job injuries can be caused by almost anything in a workplace: Faulty equipment, unsafe sites, and a lack of safety oversight by an employer are all factors that frequently contribute to work accidents. Employer negligence, in particular, is often blamed for work accidents. But in some cases, employee negligence is at fault — either the negligence of a coworker, or of the injury victim themselves.

Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to provide benefits to employees who are injured in most work-related accidents. There are some exceptions, and whether the circumstances of a particular case qualify for workers’ compensation can be evaluated by our attorneys.

If a Coworker Caused the Injury

To recover workers’ compensation benefits, proving fault is not necessary. The baseline requirements involve proving that the injury was work related, and finding a responsible party is not required. Even if a party other than the employer (such as a coworker) caused an on-the-job accident, victims can still be eligible for benefits.

Accidents Caused by an Employee’s Own Actions

Accidents that occur because of employee misconduct are specifically prohibited from workers’ compensation eligibility. While the definition of “misconduct” can vary among different companies, and will vary between cases, there are some situations that almost uniformly exclude injury victims from recovering benefits: Incidences in which fighting or intoxication were involved are two examples.

Outside of cases in which gross misconduct is a factor, workers’ compensation insurance should cover the expenses that result from a work injury — even if the employee’s own negligence can be blamed. However, an insurance provider could use employee negligence as a basis for denying a claim. It is important to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate the details of your case and represent you throughout the claims process to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Wax & Wax if you were injured on the job.

Call 818-946-0608 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.
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