What injuries are not covered under workmans comp law?

Limitations to workmans comp that can prevent you from receiving benefits

There are some limits to workmans comp that you should know about. You cannot receive workers compensation benefits for an injury that’s caused by substance abuse, a crime, misconduct or certain activities. For more information, click on the links below.

To speak with one of our work comp lawyers now, call (855) 221-2667, or you can fill out our free consultation form. There’s no cost or obligation.

Substance abuse
You are not entitled to workers compensation benefits if alcohol or illegal drug use contributed to your injury. This does not mean that you automatically give up your right to work comp just because you fail a drug test. There must be a connection between your substance abuse and injury to forfeit workers compensation benefits.

We recently represented an individual who was fired for failing a company drug test. His work injury was not connected to his drug use. The insurance company disputed payment of future worker comp benefits. But our work comp lawyers were able to settle his case for a significant amount of money, based upon the fact that the drug use and injury were unrelated.

Criminal acts
Under the Michigan workmans comp law, you are not entitled to wage loss benefits if your loss of wage earning capacity is related to the commission of a crime. If it’s determined that your wage loss is only partly due to the commission of a crime and partly due to your work injury, you can still receive some benefits.

You will not get workers compensation for any period of time that you are incarcerated.

Intentional and willful misconduct
If you are injured as a result of intentional and willful misconduct, you will not receive workers compensation benefits. This usually involves injuries sustained while violating a strictly enforced company rule or policy. An example would be if you did not follow a strictly enforced rule requiring the use of a lift assist and you hurt your back while moving a heavy part. A recent case involved a woman who skipped a mandatory company picnic and was harshly disciplined by her boss.

She suffered a nervous breakdown but was denied workers compensation benefits because of her intentional misconduct in skipping the picnic.

You might also be barred from receiving workers compensation benefits because of horseplay or fighting. Some horseplay is normal, but when it significantly deviates from the course of employment, then it will act as a bar to receiving benefits. The issue of fighting has been resolved in several different ways by the courts. Generally, if fighting occurs as the result of personal issues and not arising out of employment, any injury will not be compensable.

Social and recreational activities
We sometimes see individuals who are injured while playing a sport at the company picnic or while deviating from their work duties to run a personal errand. Workers compensation benefits are not payable for injuries that occur in the pursuit of a social and recreational activity.

Your injuries and the Michigan workmans comp law

If you have questions about your injuries and the workmans comp law, call (855) 221-2667. You can speak with one of our work comp lawyers, free of charge. We can answer all of your legal questions.

You can also fill out our contact form.

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