Can I Get Workers’ Compensation In Maryland If I Caused The Accident?
Suffering workplace injuries is not uncommon. Unfortunately, neither is having your claim denied. If you are concerned about your ability to receive coverage for a Maryland workplace injury, we are here to help. You will be relieved to learn that in most cases fault is irrelevant to a determination of workers’ compensation coverage. Afterall, workers’ compensation exists to avoid the litigation and complexity of courtroom processes, where a determination of liability would be required. Human error is a part of any business and is also a large part of why workers’ compensation has to exist. An employer shouldn’t have to prove that they perform flawlessly 24-7 in order to receive coverage for an injury. However, there are some cases where workers’ compensation coverage may be denied. We’ll look at those in more detail below.
Can Workers’ Compensation be Denied if I Caused the Accident?
As noted above, in most cases your workers’ compensation coverage will not be denied, even if you were partially or fully responsible for causing the accident that led to your injury. However, this is only true if you were acting within the scope of your employment at the time. Workers’ compensation exists to ensure that employees receive prompt coverage when they are injured in the course of their employment. This means that the employee must have been performing job-related duties or acting for the benefit of their employer at the time of the accident. If an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, however, they are generally automatically determined to be outside the scope of their employment. This means that if a UPS employee was making deliveries and made a left-hand turn without checking for oncoming traffic and was in an accident and suffered an injury as a result, their injury would likely be covered. However, if a UPS employee was making deliveries while driving drunk and was involved in an accident, coverage will likely be denied even though they were performing their job duties at the time. Roughhousing, horseplay, and physical altercations with other employees may also be grounds for workers’ compensation to deny coverage. For instance, overloading a forklift and suffering an injury as a result may have been an avoidable mistake that was your fault, but your injury will still be covered by workers’ compensation. On the other hand, suffering an injury due to a forklift-dual with a co-worker will likely not qualify for coverage as it was not for the benefit of your employer, and was presumably not related to your job duties. If you are unsure whether your claim entitles you to coverage, it’s important to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney before you run out of time to file or appeal your claim.
Talk to Berman, Sobin, Gross LLP
If you have suffered a Maryland workplace injury and are struggling to get the benefits and support that you are entitled to through workers’ compensation, the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross will fiercely advocate for you and ensure that you get the maximum compensation and benefits that you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.