Workers’ compensation is an important form of protection for those who work for a living. Any job you work puts you at risk of an injury or possibly an occupational illness caused by chemical exposure or overuse of a specific body part.
You can rely on your employer’s coverage if you get hurt at work or your doctor diagnoses you with a medical condition related to your job responsibilities. The benefits available include medical coverage and disability benefits. Although most workers only require short-term medical support, there are rare circumstances in which workers may require long-term or permanent benefits.
Some employees who would likely qualify for workers’ compensation coverage may feel nervous about applying for the benefits they deserve. For example, they might think that their employer will fight a claim because they are partially to blame for their injuries. Will fault or partial fault affect your right to workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage
It only takes a moment of distraction or a temporary loss of manual control to severely injure yourself on the job. Whether you work with tools and heavy machinery or restock shelves at the supermarket, your personal mistakes could result in a serious injury.
Despite what you may have heard, your contributions to a workplace injury do not prevent you from qualifying for benefits. No-fault coverage means that you do not have to prove that your employer caused your injury, and you also will not need to prove that you are blameless in the situation.
When can your fault affect your benefits?
If your employer can show that you hurt yourself on purpose with the intention of securing workers’ compensation benefits, they could use that as a defense against your claim.
If the medical professional evaluating you tests you for drugs or alcohol and you test positive, that might affect your right to benefits as well. If your employer can convincingly argue that your impairment is to blame before your injuries, then intoxication might keep you from getting the benefits you would otherwise receive.
Understanding the rules that apply to Ohio workers’ compensation claims can help you handle the consequences of a recent work injury.