Workers’ comp benefits were designed to help workers who get injured in the workplace because of the employer’s negligence. However, not all employers will give you the benefits easily. Your employer or the insurer will surely try to reject your claim using one or the other defenses. Learning about these defenses can help you prepare for a good strategy.
If you have been injured at your workplace and your employer denies your claim, a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney can help you fight for your rights. They can gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim and present strong arguments.
Most common employer defense examples in workers’ comp claims
The employee did not report the injury.
When you get injured at your workplace, you are required to report it to your employer immediately. If you are physically unable to do so, a third party, like your friend, family member, or co-worker, can report on your behalf. In whichever you do so, it is important to inform your employer so they can begin the claims process. If you do not give the notice in a timely manner, it may be invalid.
Employees inflicted the injuries upon themselves.
Workers’ comp benefits are designed to support employees who get injured in their workplace due to the company’s fault. It is not responsible for injuries that the workers inflict upon themselves, such as self-harm, injuries from physical fights, etc. Your employer may try to pin the fault on you to void the case. An attorney can help you gather evidence to prove them wrong.
The employee was intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
Employers are not required to pay workers’ comp benefits to employees injured due to being intoxicated. Therefore, this is a common defense. Proving this can be difficult because it requires solid evidence, including medical tests, to prove that the person had alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the injury. Moreover, the tests must be done in the right way by a qualified doctor.
The statute of limitations has expired.
There is a deadline for filing a workers’ comp claim as with other personal injury cases. If you were injured at your workplace in Virginia, your employer needs to file a claim within two years from the date of the accident. If they fail to do so, you will lose your rights no matter how much solid evidence you have.
The employee failed to follow the rules.
Again, workers’ comp benefits are not for those who were injured because of their own mistakes. You would not be compensated if you were injured due to not following the rules. Since the employer did not cause any problems, they are not obligated to deal with the consequences.