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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Injuries Caused by Natural Disasters?


Workers’ compensation benefits provide resources to employees who are injured at their place of work. Often, the injuries which workers’ compensation claims are based on are caused by industrial accidents, a lack of proper safety precautions provided by the employer, or the negligence of a third party. In many instances, the cause of a work injury can be attributed to the fault of one person or a group of people.

However, there are some instances in which people are hurt on the job, but the incident cannot be attributed to anybody’s liability — natural disasters are one example of this. Do injured employees have to prove fault in order to recover benefits through a workers’ compensation claim? Does the workers’ compensation system account for “acts of god” and other similar situations?

Workers’ compensation cases differ from typical personal injury claims because proving fault is not a necessary element of recovering compensation. Usually, employees who are injured on the job just need to prove that their injury was work related — it generally doesn’t matter who was liable (unless the worker’s own misconduct contributed to their harm). Injury victims can choose to file a separate lawsuit to receive damages from whoever was responsible for the accident, but only if a third party was involved. Recovering workers’ compensation benefits waives an employee’s right to sue their employer.

Another component of the workers’ compensation process is that although an injury must be proven as work related, the harm did not need to occur as a direct result of the actual job. Injuries that happen while you are working — whether or not they were caused by the demands of your role — can qualify as a workers’ compensation claim.

This is where the natural disaster question comes in: If you are injured by a natural disaster that happens while you are working, you are likely entitled to recovering workers’ compensation benefits. These types of claims can be especially viable if inadequate reinforcements or an absent safety plan contributed to your injuries, but as explained above, proving negligence is not always necessary.

At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., our team of attorneys exclusively practice workers’ compensation law, and are well-versed in every facet of work injury litigation. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers by calling (800) 980-6905, or by sending us a message that includes your name, phone number, and email address.


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