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Tyler & Associates, PC
Bettendorf, Iowa And Quad Cities Trial Attorney

If you get injured at work, does it matter if it was your own fault?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Many times, workplace injuries are not the fault of the person who was injured. For instance, maybe one employee does a poor job setting up a ladder, another employee climbs that ladder, and they are injured when the ladder tips and they fall.

However, there are plenty of injuries that are the fault of the person who was injured. Perhaps you were supposed to pick something up and move it to another location, and you knew that it looked like it was going to be too heavy, but you decided to do it anyway because you wanted to get done quickly. When you picked it up, you threw out your back, and you needed serious medical attention. You ended up missing weeks of work while you recovered.

You know that the injury is your own fault, but does that matter when you’re trying to get workers’ compensation for those medical bills and all the time that you were losing wages?

Generally speaking, fault plays no role

Workers’ compensation is designed as a no-fault system, so it typically will not play any role. There may be some cases in which a worker will be blamed, such as if they were intoxicated on the job, but these situations are rare. More often, fault doesn’t factor in. You can still get compensation even if you were the one who injured yourself through your own actions.

You may be wondering why employers have accepted a system like this, and the reason is that it allows them to avoid resolving a lot of lawsuits over workplace injuries. Instead, they can just carry proper insurance and give compensation to any employees who are hurt, no matter how they get injured. This protects both the employer from having to deal with the lawsuits and the employee from not getting the compensation they deserve.

But what if things don’t go so smoothly for you?

That said, the system only sounds perfect in theory, and there are a lot of complications that may arise. If they do, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you can take.