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What To Do After A Work Related Accident In California

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

California Workers' Compensation Laws, Workplace Accident, And Employer Responsibility

If you had an accident at work and are injured due to it, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the accident was not your fault. This is commonly referred to as "Workers' Comp" or "Workers' Compensation" in California.

That said, let's discuss the essential components that can contribute to the success, length, and monetary payouts of your Worker's Comp.


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Your employer has an obligation to provide their employers with a safe work environment, a safe work system, and adequately trained coworkers. The employer also has a responsibility to supply appropriate equipment for the duties specified.


In addition, employers are subject to rigorous responsibilities under OSHA and the EEOC.


Who Is Liable For Your Workplace Injuries?


Accidents happen all the time, but that does not indicate that the injured party can file a successful personal injury claim. The claimant must show that someone other than himself was negligent or at fault for this to happen.

The employer usually is to blame for this negligence or error. In some cases, it can be a third-party, and it happens when an employer hired a subcontractor.

However, in cases where the claimant bears some liability, liability for the accident will be divided between the claimant and the other party. This is known as contributory negligence, and it occurs when the claimant is somewhat to blame for the accident and, as a result, the injury that occurs as a result of the accident.

The employer's responsibilities can be summarized as follows:

  • Create a safe working environment. When an employee's work environment is hazardous or poses a hazard, and an accident occurs, the employee is entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained.

  • Provide training. The employer is expected to provide suitable and adequate training to all employees to safely complete the task at hand and avoid injuring a coworker.

  • Safe equipment. The employer has a responsibility to supply the necessary equipment for the employees to do the assignment. Furthermore, the employer must maintain this equipment safely and professionally. If the employer fails to do so and an injury occurs, the employee has the right to file a personal injury claim.

  • Offer a safe working environment. The employer is not permitted to create a working arrangement that is hazardous to his employees' health and safety. Such a system is expected to be followed by the employees, and an accident occurs, the employee is allowed to pursue a claim for personal injuries.

Contact a Workers' Compensation Lawyer in California for any questions and uncertainties about your claim.


It is not necessary to get a lawyer for every workers' comp claim. After all, the workers' compensation system should be a straightforward administrative tool for employees to use. If your claim is easy to prove and your employer or insurance provider is not opposing it, you may typically handle it yourself.


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Regrettably, the process is not always as simple as it appears. Many businesses will require or profit substantially from hiring a California Personal Injury Lawyer.

If an employee or a worker is injured while doing work or was at work and workers' compensation does not cover their claim, a California Personal Injury Lawyer may be necessary.

In most cases, if you have a workplace injury, you can sue your employer in court. For example, if you were harmed due to your employer's purposeful act, or if you're a crew member on a vessel or an interstate railroad worker, you can typically sue your employer in court for a workplace accident.


Workers' Compensation System


Workers' compensation insurance may be available to you if you are injured or sick at work. Workers' compensation covers physical injuries, occupational disabilities, and specific psychological and stress-related problems. Accidents or illnesses can occur at any moment as long as they are work-related.


Workers' compensation is usually the only option for rehabilitation after a work-related accident or sickness.

Unfortunately, this implies you won't be able to sue your boss in civil court. Instead, it would help if you claimed with your state's workers' compensation office. Most firms are expected to participate in the workers' compensation system by paying benefits into the state's fund.

What Types of People Qualify for Workers' Compensation?


Anyone who has workers' compensation coverage and is injured on the job may be eligible for benefits. These injuries can happen at work, while doing errands for work, at a work function, or due to repetitive motion or harm induced by your profession over time. Severe traumas, such as spinal cord injury or brain trauma, may also be involved.

Workers' compensation claims are no-fault, which means it makes no difference who caused the accident. Workers' compensation insurance does not cover accidents that happen during lunch breaks, during the commute, or if you are impaired in any way.

Crew members on ships and interstate railroad personnel are not eligible for workers' compensation payments. According to federal law, if these employees are injured on the job, they must sue their employers rather than receive workers' compensation benefits. Whether they are employers or independent contractors determines the majority of other workers' compensation payouts.


If you need more information about the ins and outs of Workers' Comp, contact a California Personal Injury Attorney to help.

Employees and Independent Contractors And How That Distinction Affects Your Claim

An employee is someone who is not an independent contractor and instead works for another person or organization. So, what's the difference? When making the distinction, there are various factors to consider, but in general, an employee is someone who:

  • Works under the supervision and control of the employer

  • Performs the duties of the employer daily

  • Uses the employer's resources to do their job

  • Has worked for the company for a long time

  • Their employer withholds taxes from their salary

On the other side, an independent contractor is a polar opposite. Independent contractors carry their equipment, pay their taxes, can be hired for a single job, and aren't responsible for the employer's day-to-day operations.


That said, workers' comp can be a challenging claim to make, especially for employees who have recently been in an accident. So in your search for a California lawyer, choose one of our prescreened California Personal Injury Attorneys.

What Sorts of Benefits Are Included?

In the aftermath of an accident, workers' compensation can help in a variety of ways. However, many clients are unaware that an employer's compensation plan protects more than just their income. The money given to the employee as compensation is meant to pay for various expenses associated with a working accident.

The following benefits would be covered by the majority of states' workers' compensation policies:

  • Expenses incurred for medical treatment. One of the first things you'll need workers' compensation to cover is health bills. This includes specialist appointments, emergency room visits, laboratory testing, hospital stays, surgery, and other treatments. In addition, the policy would almost probably cover medical gadgets like a wheelchair or crutches.

  • Worker's compensation, in general, ensures that you are not responsible for any copayments or bills incurred as a result of a working injury. Unless it is an emergency, workers' compensation insurance may mandate you to attend specific doctors and hospitals. Depending on the situation, these practitioners may or may not be part of your regular network.

  • Disabilities that are both temporary and permanent. It should be in your right to receive workers' compensation injury insurance if you are injured on the job and are unable to work. There are two types of disability assistance services: temporary and long-term. For example, if an injury stops you from doing your job but intends to heal and return to work later, you may be eligible for temporary disability benefits.

  • For example, assume you cannot perform a portion of your job or are required to work fewer hours, but you can still complete specific responsibilities and work a limited number of hours. In that instance, you may be eligible for compensation for a temporary partial impairment. Disability benefits should cover the gap, ensuring that you are not left stranded.

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  • You will be regarded permanently disabled if your condition prevents or inhibits you from doing your job, or the full tasks of your job, indefinitely. Permanent disability may be able to make up the difference between your pre-accident and post-accident hours if you can accomplish part but not all of your work. In addition, disability can cover the majority of your wages if you are unable to work.

  • In some cases, disability benefits might amount to as much as 75% of a person's earnings. In addition, disability benefits are almost always tax-free, which can be inconvenient at first. As a result, your net disability benefit seems to be equivalent to your pre-accident salary. In California, disability benefits are generally provided for up to 52 weeks or one year.

  • If you die, your family will be entitled to certain benefits. If an employee dies due to a workplace accident, workers' compensation death insurance can aid. These advantages will help pay the costs of a needless funeral. But they don't stop there.

  • If you were financially reliant on someone who died in a work-related accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Workers' compensation is mandated to give a percentage of the deceased's earnings to spouses and dependents so that the loss of income does not devastate the family.

  • In California, you have one year to apply for these tax breaks. After that, these payments will be made until you and your partner remarries. Then, when you attain the age of 18, you will no longer be considered a dependent.

  • Unfortunately, the post-death payout mechanism is not as straightforward as it appears. For example, the workers' compensation insurance may try to avoid paying in some instances, such as stepchildren, unmarried spouses, and where the beneficiaries are other family members such as parents or siblings.

If your boss or their insurance firm refuses to give you an appropriate payout, you need a California Personal Injury Lawyer to help you fight for your rights.


What Happens If I Get Hurt Outside of My Company's Property?


The accident doesn't need to occur on the employer's premises. Workers' compensation insurance is available to you if you are injured at work. Outside of your employer's office or warehouse, you may engage in a variety of work-related activities, including:

  • Deliveries

  • Meetings

  • Work-related training

Traveling to and from business meetings and work-related schooling are all part of the job. In addition, workers' compensation may cover an injury received at a corporate picnic or athletic event, depending on the circumstances.

When Workers' Compensation Doesn't Cover Workplace Injuries

Workers' compensation normally does not cover injuries received while driving to and from your place of employment. Furthermore, workers' compensation would not cover all injuries experienced while on the job. For example, if you are injured while sightseeing or doing other non-business-related activities on a work trip, your damages are unlikely to be covered.

All employees must have workers' compensation insurance or self-insurance.

If your employer does not have a workers' comp insurance and is not self-insured, you will usually take one or more of the following steps:

  1. You have the legal right to file a lawsuit against your boss (another exception to the rule that you cannot sue your employer for a work-related injury)

  2. You will claim workers' compensation with your state's special fund for uninsured workers' compensation claims (if your state has such a fund)

  3. If you are injured at work, and your company does not provide workers' compensation, you should call an Employment Law Attorney right once.

What If Your Boss Fires You For Filing A Workers' Comp Claim?


While an employment issue, the workers' comp process works like every other Personal Injury Claim. However, since it involves your place of work, you sometimes encounter California Labor Law issues as well.


That said, if your boss made any employment decisions (i.e., firing, retaliation, etc.) based on the fact that you filed a Workers' Comp claim, then you have grounds for Employment Claims on top of your personal injury.

If your boss fires you, for the reason to get back at you for fighting for your rights, then you have a Wrongful Termination Claim in California.

The best way to know if you have any other right to serve claims is to ask your California Workers' Comp Lawyer, who knows that workers' comp can be a matter of both a Personal Injury Claim and a Labor Law Issue.

Find A Worker's Compensation Attorney in California


1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a California Personal Injury Lawyer best fit to handle your unique case.

You can contact us via our 24/7 Live Chat (or complete our online case submission form) for a free case review.

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