You will need to prove that your violation was a mistake, and not a purposeful act done to get workers compensation benefits.
Many workers in Missouri have to follow a safety rule book imposed by their employer. These regulations can take on different forms, depending on the company, but they usually outline how the worker should do their job to stay safe.
When a worker gets injured on the job, they are entitled to workers compensation, which is an insurance policy that covers the medical costs of the injured employee and protects the employer from getting sued for negligence. But what happens if you violate a safety rule? Does workers comp still apply?
What Does the Law Say?
Generally speaking, workers compensation benefits would still apply even if you violated a safety rule at your job, and as a result, you get injured. However, you would need to prove that your violation was a mistake, and not a purposeful act done to get workers compensation benefits.
If you violate a rule on purpose, get injured, and try to file a workers comp claim, you are effectively committing a class E felony, which is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 or twice the value of the fraud, depending on which one is greater.
The claim may also be dismissed if you violated the rule and were aware of the possible consequences, but ignored these risks. So, if it is just an honest mistake, or you just forgot the rule, you should still be entitled to workers compensation.
The Insurance Company May Disagree
Even if you made a mistake and workers compensation laws in Missouri say you still can receive the compensation, the insurance company of your employer may still dismiss your claim.
Their argument would be that since the accident was a result of your negligence, then the employer cannot be liable. However, when it comes to workers compensation cases, liability is not an issue. In fact, you give away your right to sue your employer for negligence if you do apply for workers compensation. Still, the insurance company may take advantage of your lack of knowledge regarding workers comp laws and try to dismiss your claim.
Discuss Your Case with a Workers Comp Attorney
Do not let your employer or the insurance company deny your claim. If you were injured at work, even if you violated a safety rule, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann to discuss your legal options.
Our attorneys will work with you, regardless of where you are in the process. Attorney James M. Hoffmann has spent a majority of his more than 25-year legal career dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers.