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Can You File for Workers Compensation If the Accident Was Preventable?

Your workers comp claim should not be denied just because the accident could have been prevented.

preventable work accident

Workers compensation laws aren’t exactly easy literature. One great concern workers have in relation to this subject is about fault, or whether the fact that the accident may have been prevented makes them ineligible to file a claim for benefits.

The truth is, most accidents in the workplace could probably be avoided. The employer could have in place better precautionary measures, while the employers could demonstrate a higher degree of care during their work. In most cases, “preventable” accidents in the workplace won’t harm your workers’ compensation claim.

How It Works

If a Missouri worker gets injured at their place of employment, then they are generally entitled to benefits that could help them cover the cost of medical treatment and account for lost wages if the workers need some time off because of the injuries.

These benefits are designed to help workers recover and get back to work, so the issue of “who is at fault” rarely comes into question. Generally, as long as you are injured doing your job, you are eligible for benefits. That is because workers compensation benefits are more limited than other types of personal injury claims, and are only designed to get the worker back at the office. Because of it, the issue of fault is irrelevant.

When the Fault Matters

Of course, we are not saying that fault never matters. If it is found that you were breaking the law, for instance, then you may not receive workers compensation. Similarly, if you intentionally hurt yourself to get benefits, or directly disobeyed the instructions of your employer or supervisor, those instances may also be a cause for dismissing your claim.

The insurance company cannot legally deny your claim because the accident was preventable or your fault, though this possibility still exists. In these cases, you have the right to appeal their decision, or even take your case to the Missouri Department of Labor and have them take a look at your claim.

The responsibility of your employer can also matter greatly in certain cases. If you have proof that your employer was negligent and did not create a safe work environment, and because of it you got injured, then you may have the option of suing for damages.

Workers compensation benefits don’t just help workers in case they get injured. They also protect your employer from getting sued. So, you should weigh your options carefully before you do anything.

Back to You

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Your claim should not be denied because the accident could have been prevented. If you are facing this scenario, reach out to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann as soon as possible.

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300

Updated: April 4, 2024