Can I File a Claim if I'm at Fault?

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 1-Apr-2015

Considering how many workers spend a third of their lives on the job, it's not surprising that many injuries occur during the course of people's work-related duties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, there were approximately 109.4 cases of nonfatal occupational injuries requiring days away from work per 10,000 full-time workers.

Of those injured, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) accounted for 33% of all injury cases, and those with the highest percentage of MSD injuries were nurses, freight, stock, and material movers. Of all cases involving nursing assistants, MSD cases represented 53%.

MSDs include the following:

What if the accident was your fault?

Many employees in the past have accidentally injured themselves. In such cases, they often wonder if they are even entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

New York operates on a "no fault" workers' compensation system. This means that in a workers' compensation case, neither the employee nor the employer is considered to be "at fault." If a worker is injured on-the-job because of their own mistake, the amount of compensation that a claimant receives won't increase or decrease due to their own carelessness, nor will it increase because of an employer's fault.

There is one exception: if a worker is injured solely because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or due to their intent to injure themselves or another person, then the worker forfeits their right to receive workers' compensation under these circumstances.

If your employer or their insurance carrier agrees that your injury was work-related, then the claim shall be paid. However, if your employer or their carrier wants to dispute your claim, you will not receive any cash benefits until a workers' compensation law judge decides which party is right.

Is your employer or their carrier arguing that your injury is not job-related? If so, you may be eligible for disability benefits while your case is pending, however, any such payments would be subtracted from any future workers' compensation award.

To learn more about your rights, contact Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund to request a free case evaluation!