Oklahoma workers are protected by Workers’ Compensation coverage when they sustain an injury from a work-related accident or illness. The state provides guidelines for both employees and employers to follow when submitting a Workers’ Compensation claim for benefits. Questions about fault often arise when submitting Workers’ Comp claims. Do Oklahoma workers have to prove who was at fault before receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits?
An OK Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you if questions of fault or inappropriate conduct arise surrounding your Workers’ Compensation claim after a work-related accident.
An Overview of Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (OWCC) requires most employers to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage to protect themselves and their workers. Some companies are exempt, such as sole proprietorships, some family businesses and agricultural pursuits with less than $100,000 in payroll expenses. You can check to see if your employer is required to provide coverage, and if they have done so, on the OWCC Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation verification website.
Workers’ Compensation coverage is provided by your employer at no cost to you. Here are the basic factors to remember:
- Injured workers must notify their employer of an accident within 30 days.
- The employer must provide appropriate medical treatment within five days of receiving notice.
- The employer has the right to choose the doctor or medical provider.
- Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits pay for all reasonably necessary medical care you receive as a result of a work-related illness or injury.
- Workers’ compensation benefits may also replace a portion of your lost wages if your doctor says you need to be off work for a certain period of time because of a work-related illness or injury. These wages are categorized as for temporary disability (full or partial) or permanent disability (full or partial).
It is always best to notify your employer if you’ve been injured in an accident at work as soon as possible. Any delays may cause problems with filing a claim for benefits.
Can I Receive OK Workers’ Compensation Benefits if the Work Accident Was My Fault?
Regardless of how any state handles personal injury accident claims, such as car accidents, Workers’ Compensation is basically a no-fault system. Employees do not have to prove they were not negligent or liable for the accident in order to receive benefits. However, some restrictions do apply that could cause your claim to be rejected.
The nature of the work being done and the condition of the employee are two main factors that employers and insurance companies will review when deciding to approve a claim. Other factors that may result in rejected Workers’ Compensation Claims include:
- The injury was not consistent with the employee’s work environment.
- The employee’s conduct was inherently dangerous (horseplay, ignoring safety regulations, etc.)
- The employee was not performing his or her duties in accord with the employer’s policy.
- The employee’s injury was due to a previous illness or injury.
- The employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
An OK Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you if questions of fault or inappropriate conduct arise surrounding your Workers’ Compensation claim. Be sure you document everything about the accident and your injury and obtain any witness statements that can verify the legitimacy of your claim and clear you of any blame.
Get Help If Your OK Workers’ Compensation Claim is Rejected
The Armstrong Law Firm PLC has knowledgeable, compassionate and experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys available when you need advice and/or legal representation. If you suffer a work-related injury, we will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve under the law. If your Workers’ Compensation claim is denied in Oklahoma due to questions of fault or any other reason, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.