How Is Liability Proven in Workers’ Comp Cases

 

When you suffer a serious injury on the job, not only do you have to deal with the pain of your injury, but you also have to deal with lost wages. Although you’ll likely be eligible for worker’s compensation to replace your lost wages, your employer may refuse to pay if they feel that you don’t qualify. In this scenario, you may have to get in contact with a workers comp attorney that can help you build a case. Many aspects need to be considered when looking into work injury liability, aspects that you need to be familiar with to build a strong case. With that in mind, let’s explore how liability is proven in workers’ compensation cases.

Work Environment

One of the most important parts of proving liability in a workers’ comp case is proving that the work environment directly led to your injury. If a workspace is unsafe and contributed to your injury, then your employer will be liable. In an unsafe workplace, there is little you can do to prevent an accident from happening, simply because your employer failed to maintain the standard of a safe workplace. For example, you may have been injured from a slip and fall, an accident that could have been caused by slippery floors or debris. Since your employer is responsible for providing you with a safe environment to work in, if you can prove your environment was unsafe through photos or other evidence, your employer will be liable. 

Tangible Losses

Another key factor in proving workers’ comp cases is the presence of tangible losses. To actually receive compensation from your work injury, you need to prove that it caused you to have losses that are tangible and easily proved. For example, if your work injury caused you to miss a considerable amount of time at work and lose out on a lot of pay, you definitely suffered tangible losses. In addition, if you have medical bills that stem from your work injury, then that can also be considered tangible losses. However, if you get hurt and don’t miss time nor require any medical treatment, then you likely didn’t suffer enough tangible losses to be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Conduct and Location

Although workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance, several things can disqualify you from receiving benefits. Typically even injuries that are accidentally caused by you are still covered by workers’ compensation, but that isn’t always the case. In addition, injuries that you deliberately caused or purposely inflicted on yourself usually aren’t covered by workers’ compensation. Finally, the location of where the injury occurred can also play a major role in whether your employer is liable or not. As long as you are completing a work-related task, your employer should be liable to pay you workers’ compensation for an injury. This means that no matter where you’re injured, if you’re on the job, then your employer is liable. However, commuting to and from work is not considered a work-related activity, meaning that if you get hurt during your morning or evening commute, then your employer doesn’t have to pay your workers compensation. 

External Influences

If your employer can prove that you were under some external influence when the injury occurred, they are not liable for workers’ compensation. Drugs and alcohol are notorious for impairing motor functions, slowing down your reaction times, and making you more susceptible to accidents. As a result, your employer may have you take some sort of drug and alcohol test immediately after the accident. If they find that you were under the influence when the accident occurred, they will no longer be liable to pay you workers’ compensation benefits. 

Rylie Holt