My employer thinks my work injury happened because I wasn’t using the equipment properly. Will it still be covered by workers’ compensation?
It might be. Many work-related injuries occur as a result of improper use of tools or materials, and employers will use this excuse to deny your coverage. For example, your employer may claim that your injury was your own fault if:
- You were injured while breaking a workplace safety rule (such as not wearing goggles while cutting materials)
- You were injured while engaged in an activity that your employer has prohibited
- You were doing something not specifically requested by your employer at the time of injury
Since many companies will try to avoid paying for injury costs, they will attempt to deny benefits for these injuries by convincing the employee that he was at fault. But in many of these cases, employees were engaged in “risky” activities because they were encouraged to do so by their employers (usually to cut costs or save time).
For example, some employers will post safety rules to pass inspections, but “look the other way” while workers violate safety codes if the work is done faster without them. Not only does this put employees at risk, it increases workplace injuries (and makes the employer vulnerable to a lawsuit).
The important thing to remember is that workers' compensation was created as a way for employees to receive compensation for work injuries without having to sue their employers. This means that the majority of injuries will be covered by workers' compensation, regardless of whether the employee was at fault.
New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can tell you if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in your FREE, one-on-one case evaluation. Call (877) 360-0183 today or fill out the contact form on this page to get started.
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