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Understanding compensation in Washington workplace accidents

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace accidents in Washington can present a complex situation when the injured party bears partial responsibility for the incident. Navigating the legal and procedural landscape surrounding such cases can often prove challenging. However, understanding the rules of the state can help determine the possibility of recovering compensation, even when the worker is partially at fault.

The state of Washington operates under a workers’ compensation system, designed to protect the rights of employees injured on the job, regardless of fault. This system aims to compensate injured workers and assist them in their recovery process.

Washington’s no-fault workers’ compensation system

Washington operates a no-fault workers’ compensation system. Under this system, an injured employee can file a claim and receive benefits without needing to prove the employer’s negligence or fault. Crucially, this system also applies even if the worker is partially or wholly responsible for their injury.

Partial fault and compensation recovery

Even if a worker is partially at fault for a workplace accident in Washington, they can still recover compensation. This is because the workers’ compensation system operates under a no-fault principle. This principle means that employees can receive benefits for their injuries, regardless of who caused the accident.

However, the extent of fault can potentially influence the total compensation. The benefits typically cover medical expenses, a portion of lost wages and costs related to rehabilitation or retraining. It is important to note that the exact benefits vary depending on the specifics of the accident and the severity of the injury.

Exceptions to compensation recovery

While the no-fault system allows workers who were partially at fault to recover compensation, certain exceptions exist. For example, if the injury occurred because of the worker’s use of drugs or alcohol, or if the worker intentionally injured themselves, authorities can deny the claim for compensation.

In Washington, a worker who is partially at fault for a workplace accident generally still has the right to recover compensation. However, certain exceptions may apply, potentially affecting the worker’s ability to recover full compensation. Thus, understanding the nuances of this system is critical for anyone dealing with a workplace accident in Washington.