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Work Comp Q&A: Do I Get Work Comp If It’s My Fault?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Workers' Compensation Posted On: November 4th, 2022

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Wertz Law Firm related to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Law is this: What if the work accident is my fault? Do I still get work comp payments? The simple answer is that it doesn’t matter who is at fault—you are still eligible for work comp if you report the injury within 90 days. Iowa work comp is available to help pay for your medical bills and related expenses, no matter if it was your fault or not.

Increasing your knowledge about work comp empowers you and helps ensure you get the benefits you deserve to receive. Learn about your work comp rights.

Fault Isn’t Part of Work Comp

Accidents can happen, and when it comes to accidents that happen while you are on the job, it does not matter if the accident was your fault, your employer’s fault, or co-workers’ fault.   You do not have to prove it was anyone’s fault and you still receive benefits even if it was your own fault.  A couple of examples help illustrate Iowa work comp law.

Let’s say you’re a construction worker and you look away while running a saw and run your hand through a saw blade, suffering a severe cut.  You should still report it to your employer, and you should still receive work comp benefits.

If you lift something you know is too heavy for you. You should still report it to your employer.

If you are a healthcare worker and you slip on water and fall while working, it doesn’t matter if you spilled the water on the floor. The workplace accident and any injury should be reported to your employer immediately. You should receive work comp benefits to treat work injuries, including coverage of medical bills and expenses related to getting treatment.

Note that in personal car accidents, fault is a factor if you have a case against the other driver. However, there are some differences when the vehicle accident occurs while you are on the job. Read more about work comp and work vehicle accidents.

Your employer and their insurance carrier may ask you how your injury happened for the purpose of making the workplace safer for everyone, but even if it was your fault, you should still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Here are the work comp benefit options, which include medical benefits as well as disability benefits.


Report the Accident ASAP

No matter how the work accident happens, follow these four steps to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. The most important step is the first one—report the accident and work injury right away!

When you know your rights before a work injury happens, you are a step ahead. Remember that Iowa is a no-fault work comp state. And, if you want help with a work comp claim, the experienced work comp attorneys at Wertz Law Firm can help. Contact us for a free work comp consultation.

You may also want to read this blog post

What If My Workplace Injury Is Not My Employer’s Fault?