Many people believe that, if they are responsible for the accident which caused their injury, the employer is not responsible for it. This is probably the case because this is what the employer tells them. However, it is not necessarily true. If you are injured in an accident, even if the accident is your fault, it can still be covered under workers’ compensation.
If the injury is the result of an accident, or some negligence on your part, the main issues as to whether it is covered under workers’ compensation will really be:
- Whether you violated a law or statute
- Whether you violated a safety rule that you were aware of; and/or
- Whether you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If the answer to these questions is no, then the injury can still be compensable. However, even if the answer to the question is yes, I recommend that you contact an attorney who knows Virginia workers’ compensation. The employer could still be responsible. If the violation of the law or statute did not cause the injury, then the injury can still be compensable. (For example, if you were not wearing your seatbelt in a motor vehicle accident but the doctor agrees that your injuries would have occurred even if you were wearing your seatbelt, the injury could still be compensable.) If the safety rule is too vague, (i.e., the safety rule is “Don’t get hurt” or “Don’t do anything dangerous”), or if the safety rule was not enforced, then the claim could be compensable. If the issue is that you tested positive for drugs but the drug test was done after you were given morphine in the ER, or even three days later when you were prescribed narcotics, your injuries could still be compensable.
The best way to know if your injuries are compensable is to call an attorney knowledgeable in workers’ compensation.