Most employees in the U.S. are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act, an insurance which pays for injuries in the workplace. Employers with a minimum of three employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
The law requires your employer to provide a reasonably safe work environment. If an employee is injured on the job, workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages. But what if the injury was a result of negligence? How is fault at work defined and how does it affect your benefits as an employee injured on the job?
Fault vs. Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
To begin with, fault is not necessarily a determining factor in whether you qualify for workers’ compensation. Even if an employee is partially at fault, he or she may still be covered for their injuries. Exceptions to this include:
- willful misconduct
- failure to make a timely report of the incident
- failure to participate in good faith with medical treatment (e.g. not taking prescribed medications).
Receiving Benefits Does Not Preclude Your Right to Sue
Regardless of your receipt of workers’ compensation insurance, you still have a legal right to sue an employer who is at fault at work for your injury. You may be entitled to compensation beyond medical costs and lost wages.
Georgia injury law includes what is known as comparative fault, which means that compensation may be reduced or denied based on the degree to which the injured party is shown to be at fault at work. It is quite common for employers to attempt to prove negligence on the part of the employee when faced with a lawsuit.
If you’ve been hurt on the job, you need an experienced workplace injury lawyer to protect your legal right to pursue fair compensation. Many injuries take time to develop and in some cases your workers’ compensation may expire before you know the extent of your injury. An expert attorney in workplace injury can help you navigate through the legal process, from negotiation to litigation.