Are You Still Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The modern workplace can be a dangerous place. Often, you can follow all the safety rules and use appropriate caution, but still suffer a debilitating injury. Sometimes, though, in a moment of carelessness, you can be the actual cause of your own injury. How does that affect your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits? Are you disqualified if you cause your own work injury?
The “No-Fault” Nature of Workers’ Compensation
With most types of injury claims, your own carelessness or negligence will, at a minimum, reduce the potential amount you can recover. In states like New Jersey, which follow the rule of modified comparative negligence, if you are deemed to be more than 50% responsible for causing your own injury, you can’t recover anything.
That principle does not apply to workers’ compensation claims. Instead, workers’ compensation is considered to be a “no-fault” system, where you don’t have to establish that your employer (or anyone else) was negligent. Instead, to qualify for benefits, you need only show that you were injured and that your injury occurred while you were working.
Intentional vs. Careless Acts
The “no-fault” principles followed in workers’ compensation claims only apply, however, when your injuries were caused by carelessness or negligence. You cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries that were intentionally self-inflicted.
It’s also important to understand that the “no-fault” approach in workers’ compensation claims does not extend to any third-party claims related to your work injury. For example, if you were injured in a work-related motor vehicle accident and sued the driver of the other vehicle in a third party claim, any part you may have played in causing the car accident may be used to reduce or deny your claims.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, including a motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.