Whose Fault is an On-The-Job Injury?

May 6, 2022

By Thomas McCutcheon

I love our clients. I love what I do and sometimes, when I see the same question asked over and over, I try and answer that question here.

One common question is, “do I get more money because I can prove my injury was the fault of my employer?”  

The short answer is no. Now, Joel and I are two men with their minds on money, so we always look for ways to get more money for our clients.  

In those circumstances where we can find a non-employee or third-party at fault as in a traffic accident, or a defective product, such as a saw or forklift, we can get more money for an injury. The worker’s comp statute by its very purpose limits what an employee can recover. It has no effect on non-employee injuries or injuries caused by third parties.

However, worker’s comp for an on-the-job injury is defined by our Legislature and what an injured worker receives does not depend at all on whose fault it was.

Worker’s comp does not pay for loss of enjoyment of life. Think of playing with kids or sports or a good night’s sleep – things we enjoy. Worker’s comp pays no matter who’s at fault, but it does not pay for the enjoyment of life (hedonistic) damages.

If a driver runs a stop sign, they are responsible for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The law provides for those damages (and more) in fault-based cases. The law does not allow for those damages for injuries that occur on the job.

Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!

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