If the accident was my fault, can I get workers' compensation?

Like the other states, Oklahoma's workers' compensation system is a no-fault system. What this means is that, even if an injured worker in or around Ponca City, Oklahoma, could have prevented his or her own injury with a little more care or even if he or she outright violated a company rule, an Oklahoma employer is still supposed to pay workers' compensation benefits.

This no-fault system is great in that assures an employee that in the vast majority of accidents, he or she will get compensated for what some might see as the most important expenses, such as the worker's medical bills and a portion of his or her lost wages.

However, there is an important trade off in that a worker cannot turn around and sue his or her employer for negligence, even if the injury was the result of the company's OSHA violation or was otherwise the company's fault. What this means is that an Oklahoma worker is reasonably assured of some compensation, but it is not as much as the worker could get if he or she were able to sue.

While usually the only real question in a workers' compensation case is whether an employee was really on the clock or at work when the injury happened, there are some important exceptions to this rule. Perhaps the one exception Ponca City residents should take particular note of is that injuries caused because an employee is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol do not have to be compensated. It is also worth remembering that any positive drug test creates what the law calls a "presumption" of intoxication, meaning it is the worker's job to prove he or she was not drunk or drugged at the time of the accident.

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