Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Even If I’m At Fault?
It is common for workers to question whether or not they are eligible for workers’ compensation if their injuries result from their own negligent actions. And the simple answer to this question is, yes, they are eligible. Workers’ compensation in every state, including Louisiana and Mississippi, is based on a no-fault system.
The no-fault workers’ compensation system means that workers are eligible for benefits no matter who is at fault. Unlike many personal injury claims, workers’ comp claims do not require you to prove that someone else was guilty for you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. However, though workers’ comp is a no-fault system, there are some situations in which your benefits could still get denied.
If you have questions or concerns about a workers’ compensation claim or eligibility, the experts at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, can help. We specialize in workers’ compensation cases and have helped hundreds of clients get the benefits they deserve after suffering from a workplace injury.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
As workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, this means all workers are eligible even if the accident that caused the injury was their fault. However, general eligibility requirements can vary from state to state, so if you are struggling to get benefits, it could be for reasons other than who is at fault.
In Louisiana, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage if they have one or more employees on their payroll. Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible so long as they make a minimum of $3,000 annually. Select types of workers or people who are not eligible include:
- Undocumented aliens
- Domestic employees
- Licensed real estate agents
- Directors of some non-profit organizations
- Airplane crews injured while performing dusting and spraying procedures
- Those performing mining-related services
In Mississippi, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage if they have five or more employees and there is no minimum salary requirement. Workers who are not eligible for benefits in Mississippi include:
- Independent contractors
- Non-profit employees
- Farm laborers
- Domestic workers
- Religious organization workers
- Employees of cultural organizations
So as long as you meet your state’s eligibility requirements and your employer provides coverage, you should be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if the injury was your fault. However, there is an exception regarding gross misconduct and negligence that can result in a denial of benefits.
Gross Negligence and Misconduct
In situations where an employee purposefully injures themselves or knowingly endangers their life by acting recklessly, they may not be eligible to receive compensation. For example, if a worker purposely injures themselves so they can get money or take time off work, they will likely have their benefits denied and may even get fired from their job. In other situations, such as drinking on the job or taking drugs, the employee may also face repercussions and will likely be ineligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Connect with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If your employer denies your benefits because they are claiming you were at fault, you should get in contact with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Employers may not deny benefits simply because the accident was a result of the worker’s own negligence. Accidents happen—this is why workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system. Our team can review your case and ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Mississippi or Louisiana, contact Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe, PLLC. After-hours visits are available.