Most people understand that at its most basic level, worker's compensation is about taking care and providing for workers when they are injured. However, the system is more nuanced than that. As a worker, it is important to understand exactly how worker's compensation works as you know how to use it if you ever need it.
Fault Doesn't Always Matter
Worker's compensation is not like a car accident. With worker's compensation, fault doesn't always matter. What that means is that it doesn't matter who is at fault when you get injured at work, you will still get workers compensation payments.
For example, if you set up a ladder on an unsteady surface even though there was a flatter surface available to you, and you injured yourself falling off the ladder, you may be deemed at-fault for what happened. Even though you were at fault, since the accident took place while you were working, you would still be eligible to get your medical bills paid and to receive a weekly cash benefit.
Injury Has to Be Related to Your Job
Not all work related injuries qualify for worker's compensation though. Your injury has to be related to the position you hold with employer and be related to the work that you do on the job. For example, if you decided to go skateboarding during your break at work and were injured, your injuries would not be covered by worker's compensation because your injuries were not related to your position or to the work that you do at your job.
Acting Inappropriately Could Harm Your Case
Next, your behavior plays a part into if you get worker's compensation or not. If you were goofing around on the job and the insurance adjustor determines that you were engaged in inappropriate behavior that is banned on the job, you may not qualify for worker's compensation insurance.
If you come into work under the influence, you may not qualify for worker's compensation insurance either. For example, if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident happened, you would be disqualified from claiming worker's compensation insurance. Generally, after an accident at work occurs, you will be required to get a blood test to test for the presence of drugs and alcohol, and those results would be used to determine if you were under the influence while at work.
There are nuances to what will disqualify you for worker's compensation insurance following an injury at work. If you were acting inappropriately or were under the influence or were doing something not related to your job, you could lose your worker's compensation insurance. However, if you were doing something related to your job, even if you were at fault, you could still qualify for worker's compensation insurance. If you ever injure yourself on the job, talk to a worker's compensation attorney to get assistance with your case.