The potential sources of injury on a job are almost limitless. You could get hurt when a piece of machinery malfunctions or when a customer tries to rob the store where you work. You could develop an illness because of chemical exposure or because you have to hold a vibrating tool for hours every day for several years.
Most people who get hurt on the job in Rhode Island or develop a work-related medical condition will expect to receive workers’ compensation benefits. They can receive indemnity benefits to replace lost income until they can get back to work and full medical coverage for their care.
However, there are some injured workers who may feel like they cannot claim benefits. Workers who directly or indirectly caused their own injuries may feel as though their personal responsibility for the incident prevents them from qualifying for benefits. Is it true that fault eliminates coverage through Rhode Island workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance protection
No-fault coverage makes insurance claims less adversarial. It does not matter who caused your injury. Workers’ compensation will pay for your medical treatment and lost wages whether a coworker dropped something that hurt you or your boss forgot to secure a piece of equipment at a construction site.
The no-fault nature of coverage ensures that injured workers will not need to prove their employer was to blame, and it also eliminates the possibility that they would lose benefits if the company can place responsibility on them.
There are really only two times where your contributions to your own injury will affect your rights to benefits. If you came to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your employer could use your impairment as a defense against your claim. If the company has reason to suspect that you hurt yourself on purpose rather than causing your own injury unintentionally, they could fight your claim in that situation as well.
Otherwise, it doesn’t matter who is to blame for your workplace injury. The benefits that you receive will be the same regardless of fault. Learning more about how workers’ compensation operates in Rhode Island will help you feel comfortable asking for the benefits you need.