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Can employees who make job mistakes claim workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | workers' compensation

No matter how competent a worker is, they can still make mistakes on the job. Someone who has spent decades on the factory floor might make a timing error while operating a machine due to distractions. A cook who usually completes a perfect service could cut themselves or burn themselves when things suddenly go wrong in the kitchen.

Workers often beat themselves up when they make a mistake on the job. If that mistake leads to an injury, they may have other challenges to address as well. Someone hurt due to a minor mistake while working may have medical expenses to cover and might also lose out on income if they take time away from work.

Can an employee still qualify for Kentucky workers’ compensation if they caused their own injury?

Benefits are often still an option

Workers might talk themselves out of applying for workers’ compensation benefits when they blame themselves for their injuries. They may worry that their employers or co-workers may resent them for filing a claim. Other times, confused coworkers or manipulative supervisors might misinform someone about their right to workers’ compensation benefits.

The Kentucky workers’ compensation program provides employees with no-fault coverage. Even if a worker unintentionally causes their own injury, they may still be eligible for benefits. Employers cannot deny someone coverage simply because their actions or oversights contributed to their injuries. There is also no obligation for the worker to prove that the business is somehow at fault for their injury.

There are only a few situations in which an employee’s fault for an incident could leave them ineligible for coverage. The first situation is when employers can credibly allege that someone hurt themselves on purpose. The second is when a worker gets hurt because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the job. Employers would both need to provide evidence of chemical intoxication and proof that the impairment was what caused the incident.

The average worker hurt due to a momentary mistake or distraction on the job could still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits just like those hurt because of a co-worker’s mistake. Learning about the rules that determine eligibility for Kentucky workers’ compensation may help injured employees pursue the benefits they deserve.