In California, if you are injured at work, you generally cannot sue your employer for negligence in a civil court. Instead, California workers’ compensation provides a no-fault system that typically covers workplace injuries and illnesses.
With limited exceptions, most employers in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides benefits for employees injured on the job or who develop work-related illnesses that typically cover medical expenses related to the injury or illness, temporary disability payments if they cannot work, permanent disability payments if their injury results in a permanent impairment, and vocational rehabilitation.
Are There Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
One of the critical principles of workers’ compensation is the “exclusive remedy” rule. In most cases, you cannot sue your employer in civil court for damages related to a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are the sole remedy available for most workplace injuries.
However, there are limited exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule.
For example, if your employer intentionally harmed you or intentionally did something that they knew would injure you or was likely to hurt you, you may be able to sue them outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Additionally, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against a third party — someone other than your employer — whose negligence contributed to your injury. This may include a property owner who failed to maintain safe premises or a defective product manufacturer.
If you are injured at work in California and believe you may have a case outside or within the workers’ compensation system, it is essential to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you understand your rights and options. We can help.
Contact Our California Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto Today
If you have suffered a California workplace injury or illness and are facing claim challenges, contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Whittier today by calling (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation.