People in California get hurt on the job every day, and some of them will need medical care or time off of work. Employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of any medical care their employees need or to compensate them for lost wages if they can’t work.
Workers’ compensation helps protect everyone involved. The business avoids liability by carrying the insurance. The worker can rely on protection if they need medical care or a leave of absence to heal. The state won’t have to absorb the costs often caused by someone incurring big bills while unable to work.
An employee who gets hurt on the job will need to report the issue to their employer and then file a claim for the benefits that they need. Some workers may not understand what rights they really have. For example, if an employee played a direct role in causing their own injury, they may believe they cannot make a claim for benefits. Is that truly how workers’ compensation works?
Fault does not matter when you get hurt on the job
No one can be a perfect employee all day, every day. Workers make little mistakes that could have lasting consequences, especially if they are in a dangerous industry like construction or manufacturing. Even people working in retail or restaurant settings could unintentionally cause their own injury to a minor mistake on the job. They might lift something improperly or get distracted by a co-worker while operating a machine, resulting in major injuries.
Thankfully, the workers’ compensation insurance program in California is a no-fault system. Even if you obviously caused your injury through negligence or a mistake, your contributions won’t eliminate your right to benefits. Only in cases where people showed up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol or where they intentionally hurt themselves can the insurance company deny them benefits for causing a workplace injury.
You need to know your right to stand up for them
All too often, workers don’t bother learning about how workers’ compensation or other employee protections work until they need help. Learning about workers’ compensation in California and knowing your rights can help you get benefits after getting hurt on the job.