What Does It Mean When A Work Accident Was Your Fault?
If you are responsible for a work accident that damages yourself or others, that may cause a lot of guilt, confusion, and other emotions. But while you're dealing with the aftermath of a work accident, there are some things you should keep in mind about your legal rights. Here are some common points of confusion for people in your situation.
Are You Eligible for Help?
In most cases, it shouldn't matter that an injury was your fault if it happened on work time. As long as the circumstances and your behavior was reasonable, you should be eligible for help. But that can change if your boss argues that your behavior was negligent. For example, if you were intoxicated while operating complicated equipment, and someone got hurt, your boss could revoke worker's compensations rights and actually pursue legal action against you. Another thing that causes mix-ups with eligibility for worker's comp is if you aren't a bona fide employee.
What Happens to the Other People Involved?
If multiple people were injured in a work-related accident, the workers compensation should cover their expenses too if they were also employees. If the people involved were not employees, the situation can get a little bit more difficult. These people might be able to simply sue the company and interface with the company's general liability policy. But again, in cases of gross misconduct, you may be personally responsible for damages. In that case, a personal injury attorney is advisable. However, your workers compensation lawyer could also help you argue against any charges that you were negligent.
What If Circumstances Are in Contention?
Are you unsure who was at fault for an accident? Is your boss arguing that the accident wasn't part of your work responsibilities at all? Is your employee status controversial (such as, are you billed as a contractor but have full-time hours and responsibilities)? All of these issues are ones to take up with a worker's compensation lawyer. With an attorney on your side, they will make sure responsibility is directed away from you and at the employer responsible for the accident. When you're injured reasonably within the line of duty, it's your employer's legal responsibility to protect you. But if they are reluctant, a good attorney firm like Mordhorst Law should help clear things up quickly so that you can get back to work and/or focus on healing and processing the incident that happened to you.