An employee’s self-inflicted injuries are excluded from coverage under the workers’ compensation fund. Deliberate self-injuries are highly unlikely to be motivated by the prospect of entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits, because compensation law provides for an award based upon only a percentage of a workers’ wages.
The self-inflicted injury exclusion has been used primarily to preclude recovery of compensation for an employee’s suicide. This is not to say that all work-place suicides are precluded from coverage under the workers’ compensation system. Under the “claim of causation” test, in order for a deceased worker’s dependent to recover workers’ compensation benefits for a death by suicide, they must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that: (1) the worker initially sustained an injury in the course of and arising out of the employment as defined by R.C. § 4123.01(C); (2) the work-related injury produced in the worker a mental disturbance of sufficient severity to override normal rational judgment; and (3) this mental disturbance precipitated the worker’s suicide.