What Behaviors Can Prevent the Award of Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Under Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws, nearly any accident that occurs at work entitles the injured worker to benefits such as partial wages and medical expenses. This is because workers’ compensation insurance is intended to be a compromise between workers and employers. Workers do not need to prove that their employer was negligent or even directly responsible for an injury in order to recover benefits. In return, workers generally give up the right to bring a lawsuit against their employer for personal injury claims.
This arrangement works out well for both sides. Workers are usually compensated, and businesses don’t need to worry about massive verdicts.
However, there are exceptions to these rules and times when employees are not entitled to benefits under Oklahoma’s workers’ comp laws:
- Workers do not receive benefits in cases where they intentionally harm themselves.
- Benefits may be withheld when a worker’s injury is the result of a failure to use a safety device provided by the employer.
- If a worker intentionally becomes drunk or intoxicated and this intoxication leads to an accident, the worker will not be covered.
- Employees cannot collect benefits if their injury stems from their involvement in horseplay.
- Workers’ compensation is not intended to cover intentional harms inflicted by others for reasons unrelated to employment.
- Injuries that occur outside the scope or course of employment are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
If you have been injured at work, your employer may try to argue that one of these exceptions applies to your case. If you find yourself disagreeing with your employer about benefits after an injury, you may need the assistance of an Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorney.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons fight for the rights of injured employees. We deal with employers and insurance companies for you so you can focus on healing from your injury. Contact us today to arrange your free initial consultation at our Oklahoma City office.