Workers’ compensation coverage is one workplace benefit that is almost universal in Florida. Even a high schooler working fast food job has workers’ compensation coverage if they get burned in a kitchen accident. Workers of all ages and professions can typically rely on workers’ compensation coverage to help them replace their lost wages and afford medical treatment for their job-related health issues. In certain situations where an incident is clearly the fault of someone else, workers may feel confident about pursuing a claim.
In a situation where someone may have contributed to their own injuries, however, they may worry about whether they have a right to seek benefits. If a worker got hurt due to their own mistake, will their own error give their employer grounds to contest a compensation claim?
No-fault coverage protects even accident-prone workers
An employee does not need to be perfect to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The system provides no-fault coverage as a means of more thoroughly protecting both employers and workers.
No-fault coverage means that a worker will not need to prove that the company did something wrong or negligent. It also means they don’t have to worry about their employer fighting their claim based on allegations that they made a mistake on the job. Typically, employees will be able to pursue a claim even if there is video footage showing that they accidentally backed up into the machine press that injured them or dropped a box on their own foot.
In rare cases, fault matters
There are a few, relatively rare circumstances in which an employer could use claims of worker fault in response to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If a worker failed a drug or alcohol test after their injury and if the employer can credibly claim that the intoxication directly caused the incident, then the worker’s right to benefits could be at risk.
If there is evidence that indicates a worker hurt themselves on purpose, possibly to get a day off of work or to avoid a specific project, their intentional self-injury may eliminate their eligibility for benefits. Finally, in scenarios where a worker violated company policy, their misconduct might influence what benefits they can claim.
For most workers who have been harmed due to momentary distraction or mistakes on the job, there is minimal risk that those errors will prevent them from securing benefits. Learning more about how workers’ compensation benefits function in Florida can help those who have been recently injured at work.