What If My Work Injury Was My Own Fault?
The workers’ compensation system is limited in the types of damages you can recover. You cannot receive money specifically for the pain and suffering for your injuries. This is due to the fact that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. What that means is that you can qualify for workers’ compensation even if the accident was your fault. You cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits, however, for self-inflicted injuries or if the injury occurred while you were intoxicated.
As long as you can prove that your injury occurred while performing a job-related duty, then you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can include medical treatment, disability payments, mileage reimbursement, vocational rehabilitation, and cash settlement.
What If a Co-Worker Caused My Injury?
In workers’ compensation, there is what is known as an exclusive remedy rule. This means that you can only sue your employer if you were injured at work. Workers’ compensation is then considered the only remedy. So, if you were injured by a co-worker, or your boss, you are only entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You cannot sue them in civil court unless they have intentionally hurt you.
What If My Injury Was Caused by a Third Party?
If your injury was caused by a third party, then you can sue the third party in civil court. For example, if you were making a pizza delivery and a stranger rear-ended you, then you can sue the person who rear-ended you. This is what is called a crossover case: you can file a claim against your employer and also the third party who rear-ended you.