Who Is to Blame? Identifying Who or What Caused Your Work Injury
It doesn’t matter if you’re a nurse at the Southwest Louisiana Hospital, a systems operator at PPG or a game dealer. Workplace injuries can happen at any job, anytime and anywhere—causing employees such as yourself to become injured. The question is, if you’re injured on the job, will your injury be covered under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act? Furthermore, will your employer honor those benefits?
Some employers may try to argue that your injury isn’t covered by workers’ compensation because they personally aren’t to blame. However, no matter what they may say, the blame game doesn’t quite play in their favor. As long as your injury took place at work and wasn’t a result of your own intentional actions, you deserve your benefits.
Employer Blame and Workplace-Related Injuries
The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act states that an employer must provide benefits to any employee who has suffered an unexpected event that caused an injury. Most of these workplace injuries fall under employer-related injuries:
- Wet floors causing potential slip and fall injuries.
- Dangerous or precariously placed items which could result in trips or falling objects.
- Ill-equipped machinery that could malfunction and cut, crush or otherwise cause damage.
- Cause for repetitive motion injuries.
As long as the injury was not instigated or provoked by you, and took place on your employer’s premise or as a direct result of your job, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Secondary Employee and Workplace Violence Injuries
Certain workers such as firefighters, policemen, and jewelry store clerks, go to their jobs knowing there is a certain risk of being injured. Other jobs may not be predominately risky but unexpected violence can show up anywhere:
- Employee disputes
- Unruly customers
Workplace violence—although not necessarily your employer’s fault—may still be covered under workers’ compensation. If you had no control over the incident but suffered an injury because your job required you to be in the same proximity as the violence, your employer must take responsibility for your injuries.
Injuries Instigated/Provoked by Yourself
However, no compensation may be allowed if the injury was caused by your own willful intention to injure yourself or others, or if you were intoxicated at the time of the injury. You also may not be entitled to benefits if you’re the aggressor in an unprovoked physical altercation or if it’s determined that you were “horsing around” at the time of the injury.
In general, it doesn’t matter if another employee or your employer is to blame for your injury, your workers’ compensation benefits shouldn’t be affected either way. However it’s always a good idea to know your employer’s policies just in case.
Need more information on workers’ compensation rights or injury claims? We encourage you to like us on Facebook for periodic article updates or contact us directly for a free consultation.
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