Claiming compensation for work-related injuries isn't always simple. Still, you don't have to lose hope just because your case is more complicated than average. Here are a few ways your case would be a little more difficult than usual, and what to expect from the court proceedings.
Fighting And Horseplay
If you sustain injuries as the result of a fight or risky behavior at work, it can make your claim more difficult to win in court. In some cases, your behavior prior to the accident may even negate your ability to recover compensation.
Starting A Fight: If you initiate violence against another party during your work, your employer will not be obligated to cover any injuries you sustain as a result. Getting compensation for injuries that occur on the same day or around the same time as a physical altercation that you initiated can be incredibly difficult. For your claim to have any chance, you'll need to prove that any injuries you sustained were not caused by the fighting.
Being Assaulted: Your claim is affected entirely differently if you suffer from an assault at work. You'll only need to demonstrate two things in this case: that you were carrying out your work duties at the time of the assault, and that the assault was not personally motivated. If a customer or coworker attacks you, your claim has a good chance in court.
Engaging In Horseplay: Risky activities can jeopardize your claim, but not always negate it. Your employer has an obligation to make you aware of any rules against risky behavior. Being injured while engaging in horseplay against the business's rule will make your claim much more difficult to win. However, if you were never informed that your behavior was in violation of the rules, the company cannot use your actions against you.
Drug Use And Drinking Alcohol
After any work-related injury, you must be tested for intoxicating substances. If you refuse the test, your employer may be released from their responsibility to compensate you for your injuries. On the other hand, even if you test positive, accepting the test will usually give you some chance of restitution.
Substance abuse prior to your injury will jeopardize your case if it was the only cause of your injuries. For example, if you arrive at work intoxicated and hurt yourself falling down, your employer won't be held responsible for your accident. If your injuries were caused by intoxication coupled with some other factor, your employer may hold enough responsibility to still be liable for your medical care.
To prove that the drugs in your system were too old or too ineffective to be wholly liable for your injuries, you'll need to have your lawyer recruit a medical expert to testify on your behalf. This expert should have experience with drug treatment, the screening process, or your specific injuries.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Chronic or recent medical conditions can muddy the waters when it comes to your newer injuries, but they don't have to stop you from receiving compensation. However, the details about the injury will affect the damages you receive.
If your previous condition qualified you for worker's compensation, and your new injury worsens it, your previous compensation will likely decrease. You will then receive additional payment to cover the amount your condition worsened. On the other hand, if your new injury is unrelated to a previously-covered condition, you will receive full benefits for both if your claim is successful.
Chronic conditions that did not previously qualify for compensation may be worsened by work activities. When this happens, you will receive benefits for how much the condition has worsened, but not for the condition as a whole. A corroborating deposition from a medical expert may be necessary if you believe your injury is separate from your previous condition.
Compensation isn't always easy to get, but don't let that intimidate you away from requesting it. Talk to your lawyer about the potential complications with your case, and you might be able to get the help you need in spite of them. You can also click here for more information.