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Can You Seek Workers’ Comp if You Are Partially At-Fault?

John Lesaganich April 4, 2019

Sometimes a person in Illinois is injured at work because they received inadequate training or because equipment they were working with was not properly maintained. Other times, workers are injured in workplaces that are inherently dangerous. Sometimes a worker is injured on the job due to their own actions. These workers may wonder if they can pursue workers’ compensation benefits, even if they were partially at-fault for their injuries.

Workers’ compensation in Illinois is a no-fault law. What this means is that injured workers do not need to show that their employer committed some act of negligence to pursue benefits. For example, a worker who unknowingly slips on a spill on the floor while at work that should have been cleaned up may pursue workers’ comp, as their injury was caused by a negligent act of their employer. However, a worker who injured their back using poor lifting techniques may also be able to pursue workers’ comp under the right circumstances.

Employers may try to dispute workers’ comp cases if they think the employee was at-fault. In situations like this, having witness testimony from a co-worker or video testimony can help establish that the employee was injured on the job.

So, while workers who are partially at-fault for their workplace injuries can still pursue workers’ comp, there may be some push-back from their employers. Workers’ compensation can be the financial lifeline a worker needs while they are unable to work due to an injury suffered in the workplace. It is important, then, that workers provide all the evidence of their injury that they can, to strengthen their claim for benefits.