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Do I need to prove an employer’s fault to obtain workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation provides widespread protection for direct-hire employees working in Mississippi. Someone on their first day or a part-time seasonal employee has the same basic protection as someone who has held the same job for decades. Those with injuries acquired at work or medical conditions related to their employment can qualify for medical coverage and disability benefits if their employer has five or more workers. Those benefits can make a major difference for someone struggling with medical challenges related to their work.

Unfortunately, many workers have limited knowledge of the Mississippi workers’ compensation program. They may operate under the misconception that fault plays a role in their claim. Many employees never seek out benefits because they believe that they need to prove their employer was at fault. That is not how workers’ compensation insurance works in Mississippi.

Workers have no-fault protection

A workers’ compensation claim could become a very adversarial process if the focus was on establishing fault. Employers might be more likely to penalize employees who seek out benefits, while workers may develop a negative attitude toward companies because of how difficult that arrangement might make it to file a claim.

The no-fault approach helps limit the conflict between employer and worker after someone develops an injury. Neither party typically needs to worry about establishing fault. Workers have the same degree of coverage regardless of whether their employer is directly to blame for their injury or if a coworker made a mistake on the job. They also have protection from the loss of their benefits simply because they contributed to their own injury.

No-fault arrangements are mutually beneficial. Workers do not have to worry about proving exactly how they got hurt and that their employer was to blame for the situation. They simply need to follow the right procedures for reporting the matter and initiating a benefits claim.

Businesses likewise do not need to invest resources in an attempt to defend against a benefits claim, as a successful claim has little impact on the company’s overall reputation or liability. Generally, no-fault workers’ compensation coverage helps protect employers from the possibility of a worker lawsuit.

While proof of fault is not necessary, workers may need help connecting their condition to their employment or overcoming questions about the impact that their condition has on their job performance. Understanding workers’ compensation rules and the claims process, and seeking legal guidance for support, may help injured workers more effectively utilize the resources that exist for their protection.