Understanding the Role of Fault in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Because of common misconceptions and a frequent lack of workplace instruction, many employees are unsure about whether they are entitled to pursue a workers’ compensation claim when they suffer an injury in the workplace. The issue often arises due to confusion of workers’ compensation with the fault-based nature of the tort system, which is the portion of the legal system dedicated to resolving grievances between two parties through the filing of a lawsuit and subsequent trial or adjudication.
A worker is permitted to file a workers’ compensation case for any accident, incident, illness, or injury that occurs in the workplace or in direct conjunction with the performance of work-related duties. If an employee misses even one shift as a result of a work-related illness or injury, it becomes mandatory for the company to report the situation to its workers’ compensation insurer. Although a claim for workers’ compensation can be approved or denied, this has nothing to do with the determination of fault.
Instead, when a denial is issued, the basis is typically either a procedural error (such as when the paperwork was filed, a clerical error, or the use of an unapproved doctor) or the belief that the injury was sustained in a context outside of work. This can become complicated when one’s work requires that they travel off-site for the performance of certain tasks, so it is always best to speak with an experienced Morehead City workers’ compensation attorney before you pursue an appeal of a rejected claim.
If you have any questions about the workers’ compensation claims filing or appeals process, contact the Morehead City workers’ compensation attorneys of the Law Office of Sam Scudder at (252) 222-0227.