FREE CONSULTATION (314) 361-4300

Does Negligent or Reckless Behavior Qualify for Workers Compensation?

Workers compensation is a complex, and even if there are many provisions in it, it may all come down to the particularities of your case.

According to Missouri workers compensation law, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their workers and carry insurance policies that would help with their recovery in case of an injury… in most cases.

As with many laws, there are a lot of exceptions to the workers compensation, and it’s best to know about them, and how you are covered for work injuries. Not all employers are required to carry workers compensation, just like not all injuries are eligible for the claim.

But the question now is this: if the injury or accident is caused by negligent or reckless behavior, does it qualify for workers compensation?

What Does the Law Say?

According to Missouri state law, any injury or illness caused by the work activity or the work environment is eligible for workers compensation. If you go to work and injure your back while lifting something because it was part of your job to do so, then you are generally entitled to workers compensation.

However, the matters of “work-related injuries” can be quite debatable sometimes. For instance, workers compensation generally does not cover you if you sustain an injury on your way to your workplace, even if it can be argued this transit can also be considered part of your work activities. However, the state clearly says that in most cases these injuries are ineligible.

But What about Negligence?

Well, if it’s negligence on your employer’s behalf, you are not only allowed workers compensation, but you may also be able to file suit against your employer for negligence, as their actions (or lack thereof) is what caused your injury or illness.

However, if it is negligence on your part, the employee, then it depends. For instance, if you hurt your back while lifting something heavy without the right tools, you may still be eligable to receive workers compensation. Though the injury was caused by your negligence, it is still the responsibility of the employer to make sure their workers are following protocol.

However, there are three main instances where employee negligence generally doesn’t warrant workers compensation:

  • Hurting yourself on purpose excludes you from workers compensation; moreover, if you do so in order to get this payment, you can even face insurance fraud charges;
  • Hurting yourself while breaking the law;
  • Hurting yourself by breaking company policy – going back to the above example, if your employer has a specific policy on how to lift heavy objects, and you have signed and agree to them, you may be ineligible for compensation if you knowingly violated the policy.

Workers compensation is a complex, and even if there are many provisions in it, it may all come down to the particularities of your case. Because of this, if you’ve been injured at work and are denied based on negligence, you should speak with a St.Louis workers compensation lawyer for guidance. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE Case Evaluation.

Updated: February 25, 2019