When you’re injured on the job in California, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help cover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages while you recover from your injury. However, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about workers’ compensation services in California. Oakland California Workers Compensation attorney James E.Latimer states that one of the most common misconceptions is that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
While it’s true that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in the sense that you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent in order to receive benefits, it’s not accurate to say that fault doesn’t matter at all in a workers’ compensation claim.
In fact, fault can play a role in several aspects of a workers’ compensation claim in California:
1. Eligibility for Benefits: To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in California, you generally have to show that your injury or illness was work-related. Professional workers compensation lawyer in California says that if your injury was caused by your own willful misconduct or by intoxication, you may not be eligible for benefits.
2. The Amount of Benefits: The amount of benefits you receive in a workers’ compensation claim can be affected by fault. If your injury was caused by the willful misconduct of your employer, you may be eligible for increased benefits. On the other hand, if your injury was caused by your own willful misconduct, your benefits may be reduced.
3. Third-Party Claims: In some cases, you may be able to bring a separate personal injury claim against a third party who was at fault for your injury in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Workers compensation law center in Oakland California states that this can be important because personal injury claims may allow you to recover damages that are not available through workers’ compensation.
4. Intentional Acts: In some cases, if an employer intentionally causes an injury to an employee, the employee may be able to bring a separate lawsuit against the employer in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if an employer physically assaults an employee, the employee may be able to bring a lawsuit for assault and battery in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.
5. Negligence: While workers’ compensation is generally a no-fault system, negligence can still play a role in determining whether an injury is compensable. For example, if an employer fails to provide adequate safety equipment or training, and an employee is injured as a result, the employer’s negligence may be a factor in determining whether the injury is compensable under workers’ compensation.
6. Pre-existing Conditions: If an employee has a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by a work-related injury, fault may not be a factor in determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. However, fault may come into play in determining the extent of benefits the employee is entitled to receive. Oakland California workers comp lawyer gives an example where an employee has a pre-existing back injury that is aggravated by a work-related injury, the employer’s fault in causing the aggravation may be a factor in determining the amount of benefits the employee is entitled to receive.
In summary, while workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, fault can still play a role in several aspects of a workers’ compensation claim in California. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the system and maximize your benefits.