Workplace accidents can happen to anyone in Arizona at any time, even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says all on-the-job injuries are preventable. When they do occur, injured workers might be unable to return to work for several days, and the lost wages along with the medical expenses could become overwhelming. Sometimes, workers fail to file workers' compensation benefits claims because their injuries followed their own negligence or errors.
However, the workers' compensation program is a no-fault system that pays benefits regardless of who was at fault -- with some exceptions. The system is based on a mutual agreement that workers will not sue their employers if they carry the costs of the injuries and lost work time, even if the workers caused the incidents that led to the injuries. Under most circumstances, fault is not considered when eligibility for workers' compensation benefits is determined.
Some forms of misconduct might cause denied benefits claims. Working while impaired by drugs or alcohol could disqualify an employee from benefits. Also, injuries suffered while workers are involved in fights or horseplay might not be regarded as work-related. Any injuries that were not suffered within the employee's scope of work might not be compensable.
An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the navigation of the system in pursuit of the treatment and compensation the injured worker deserves.